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Ducklings

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Unless you live on a farm, PLEASE do not buy those cute baby chicks and ducklings that are available for Easter. They do not make good presents for children, and quickly die from over-handling. This also teaches children that animals are disposable and they will gain little respect from the experience.

Duck Information

Males and females pair up in late fall. Nesting begins in early to mid Spring. Nests are usually made away from the ducks' main body of water. The male and female will scout out the nest site together, looking for sites with low predator activity. Even though she can safely fly in and out of the nesting location, she does not anticipate that she'll have to walk out once the ducklings hatch. Nests may be located close to busy streets or in enclosed courtyards. The female will return to the selected site to lay an egg each day, and then return to the water to be with the male. Mallards lay between 8-12 eggs and muscovies lay between 12-18 eggs. The egg laying process last for an equal number of days. Once egg laying is complete, she will leave the male (who will wait at the water for her) and she will begin incubation. By waiting to incubate until egg laying is complete, this ensures all the eggs hatch at the same time. At this stage the females will only leave the nest to quickly get food/water and briefly visit with the male, usually very early in the morning and late in the evening. She can be observed taking flight in the direction of her preferred body of water. In 24 to 28 days for mallards (28 to 32 days for muscovies), all the eggs will hatch within a twenty-four hour period and the mother will lead her brood back to the water where her mate should be waiting. Returning to the male ensures protection for both the female and the ducklings.

If an unattended nest is discovered and it has less than 8 eggs, it may be safe to assume that the female has not yet completed egg laying. She will only begin incubating the eggs once egg laying is complete.


Also see Charts

I Found a Baby Bird….Now What?
How To Rescue Baby Birds

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