Duck Eggs in the Garden!

Every morning at about 7 am, three Moscovy ducks come to my yard from a nearby park about two or three blocks away. One goes into the bushes and leaves and egg in a little ‘nest’ (that really is just a spot that she has cleared of leaves). Then, they all wander away.

Yesterday there were 4 eggs.

Every year wild mallards lay, incubate, and hatch a dozen or so eggs by our pond. It’s cute at first watching momma duck with her dozen ducklings waddling around our property in a line, eating food we put out for deer/turkey/etc, exploring our yard.

But momma duck is not very attentive. Over time, one by one, the group suffers attrition. A duckling is left behind in the barn, and starves. One finds a way into our shed but can’t find a way out. Raccoons eat a few. Foxes take their share. A hawk gets one. Every few days the number decreases. Eventually it’s momma duck and one or two survivors.

Ouch.

Thanks for the heads-up on the future duck-life-drama. I’m actually surprised nothing has found these eggs yet as they are not particularly well hidden and there is a lot of potential egg-eating wildlife in my neighborhood such as skunks, raccoon, and opossum.

The ducks came by again this morning and left egg # 5. I also got a picture of the two ducks. They often have a third duck with them, but that one didn’t come by today. I didn’t want to disturb them so waited for them to leave and enter the neighbors yard to get their picture.

Today’s picture: http://imgur.com/a/MzF1L

I’m not sure why one parent isn’t staying and incubating? Perhaps these are very confused ducks.

But thank you for obeying the picture rule. :smiley:

They usually begin incubation once the entire clutch is laid. That way they all hatch at once.

We had mallard eggs in our garden for several years. There were nine eggs once! But, raccoons.

Sad though it was, we took the baby chickadee deaths harder. I’m starting to really dislike raccoons.

Muscovy ducks are feral. I’d be having duck egg omelettes!

There’s lots of attrition in precocial waterfowl – that’s one of the reasons they have such large clutches.

The past few years, I’ve had a few duck eggs show up in the yard. There are two places they seem to like.

Sadly, there is something else that lives on my lake that seems to like to eat duck eggs. I’ve never seen one last more than two or three days.