My Mother's Ducky Septuplets Are No More
A few days ago, I was ridiculously excited about my mother's story of a duck who had laid seven eggs in her back yard. I kept imagining a bunch of baby ducks running around on my parents' lawn and jumping into a paddling pool, which I had already plotted to install in their yard without their permission, because ducks, man. Ducks!
The universe is only so duck-friendly, though, it turns out. Here's my mother's update on the ducklings situation:
We think the mother mallard has either abandoned her nest or something bad has happened to her. We have not seen her since early Sunday morning before we went to church. At that time she was trying to keep a large white cat away from her nest by diverting attention to herself in the middle of the yard. There was much commotion and squawking on her part as the cat silently stalked her. I shooed the cat away and have also not seen the cat since. The nest appears undisturbed since then, other than one egg now has a small hole pecked into it. Maybe she has decided that life is too treacherous in our yard, what with Dad mowing just two feet from her nest, the neighbourhood cats prowling about and probably a magpie or blue jay that pecked an egg open. She was a very nervous expectant mother so she may have literally given up on the whole motherhood thing for this year. If she hasn't been warming her eggs for two full days I am sure they would not be able to hatch. We never did see the male mallard in all this time. Maybe the female decided she didn't want to be a single Mom while Dad is out having a good time! We are told that if the eggs do not hatch she will not nest here next year.
In some ways I am sad for her but then again I am okay with not having seven ducklings pooping all over our yard and destroying my perennials while they munched.
Just thought I would update you re. the mallard episode.
So, there you have it. The mama duck has wisely flown the coop, if the neighbourhood cats didn't get to her first. I feel like I'm short seven fluffy, beaked siblings now.