Wild Swedish Duck Nest In My Garden

MrmkMarch 12, 2012

Hello all, I went to prep my vegetable garden this morning and was quite surprised to see a female Black Swedish Duck had made a nest there. It has 8 eggs in it. I didn't know she was there and scared her. She flew into the water (I live on a salt water lagoon) and yelled at me for a few minutes. A few others and some mallards all came to her to calm her. I didn't know they were laying yet, but we haven't had below freezing temps at night for a week or so. I left immediately for fear of her deciding to abandon the eggs. (Don't know anything about ducks and if they will abandon the eggs or not, but didn't want to take any chances.) I don't know how long the nest has been there or how old the eggs are.

I should obviously just leave them alone, but my issue is this: I am going to dig up my garden and completely rip out and restructure where she is. I have loads of compost and plants coming, and people coming to help do the work. Can I move the nest? If so, how will she find it? I don't want to leave them for the seagulls to get either. If she just laid the eggs, they will take another month before they hatch. Even longer if she isn't finished laying. We also have a cat 2 doors down that loves to sleep in a corner of the garden and I'd hate for him to get the eggs or babies too. Will animal control relocate the eggs to a brooding duck? Or do they just 'do away' with them? Any suggestions?

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Mrmk

She must have come back last night because the eggs are now mostly covered with straw. I will pot the plants that are coming and transplant them later. I'll leave the dirt in a mound until after they leave. I'll have everyone come help after.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 10:22AM
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justplaincountry

I commend you! What a great thing to do. She'll set when she has about 12 to 14 eggs. and then in 28 days or less she'll reward you with a fun family to entertain you. I watched some wood ducklings "exit" from the nest in an Elm close to our pond. What a sight. Just jump and drop with Mom encouraging them all. She was a proud mom with her brood all on the pond.
Let us know when she hatches!!
And your neighborhood cat will live to regret the day he interferes with that nest. All the drakes will make him wish he'd stayed home! lol

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 11:42PM
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dreamgarden(z6)

Please, PLEASE, get pics!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 12:32AM
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Mrmk

So today is the 28th day and we've been watching her for a month. She laid 13 eggs total. Checked on her this afternoon and she was still sitting there. Went food shopping and 2 hours later the nest was scattered, mom was dead, and only 9 eggs remained. One of the remaining had a peck hole in the side that didn't go all the way through, so I'm thinking she was attacked by a flock of seagulls. She had been spreading the eggs out so they weren't all under her at once (previously they were piled in a mound and she sat on top). I am guessing the gulls saw the eggs and attacked her. There were no cat tracks in the sand, but many webbed bird tracks. As soon as we realized what happened, we grabbed them all (most were hot still, especially underneath where they were on the nest, but a few were warm and one was a foot or so away from the nest and was cool) and we warmed them back up with a hairdryer (we were desperate to raise the temp quickly!) and now have them in a foam/fleece cuddle cup from my old guinea pig with a heat lamp over them. The temp got to 100 and I had to pull it back. I have a thermometer you use when you get sick in there to monitor the temperature. I candled them and see the air pocket and laid the eggs with the pocket up, but don't know what else to look for. There's no movement and no peeping. Praying these babies make it with a clueless unprepared human!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 10:24PM
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Mrmk

Ugh. After all that, they were already dead. Shrink wrapped in their shells. The wind was high today and pulled the moisture from them in a blink of an eye. They were dead before I even got to them I guess. So sad. One more day and they would have been out of their shells.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 11:47PM
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dreamgarden(z6)

What a drag. I'm so sorry this happened.

Nature can be really unkind.

Bless your heart for trying.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 8:47PM
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