Monday, May 24, 2010

Momma Ducks

We've been blessed with an abundance of momma ducks around our house this year.  It is especially exciting because the boys just finished a unit at daycare where they talked all about baby animals and their mommies and daddies.

Monkey and Moose spent several minutes watching a mating pair of mallards drink from our fountain in the front yard and scrounge for grubs in the garden soil.  "Mommy Daddy Ducks" they exclaimed with excitement.

A few weeks ago my dear husband happened upon a hen nesting in our compost bin.  I tried to take a picture, but scared her.  I was able to take a peek inside her nest and saw about 12 beautiful green eggs.  Having my compost bin as a nesting site has made spring clean up a little bit of a hassle, but it has been fun to sneak a peak at the momma every couple of days.  We haven't introduced her to the boys, I figure nesting is stressful enough without double trouble.    I've been really excited to see her ducklings swimming in the irrigation ditch.  I've learned that the eggs are incubated for about 30 days, so I think we might only have a week or so until they hatch.Fortunately for us, a neighbor boy knocked on our door last week to let us know that a hen mallard and her 14 ducklings were in our front yard.  He said that they had hatched the previous morning in another neighbor's yard. Momma and most of the ducklings were sunning themselves near our weigela. Six of the little ducklings were stuck in our unfinished fountain.  The water was four or five inches down from the top of the catch basin, and the baby ducks couldn't get out.  Sweet hubby brought the hose around, and quietly filled the basin, allowing the duckies to escape.  Momma and her brood stayed in the yard for several hours.Moose and Monkey enjoyed watching them.  They really wanted to touch and hold the ducklings.  We told the boys, "Stay back, you don't want to scare the ducks."  They both growled.  We had to drag them kicking and screaming back into the house.  "More ducks! More ducks!" they insisted.

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