Social Question

snowberry's avatar

Would you help us with our duck drama?

Asked by snowberry (24289points) 4 days ago

On a rainy day last week I looked on my front porch and noticed a male mallard duck. I thought that was odd, but then I noticed his mate was sitting under a bush just under our picture window. She had scraped out a depression in the bark chips and laid an egg.

Now I’m trying to look at it from their point of view. Every time it rains, a small pond forms in our front yard, and the day they set up housekeeping there was a sizable pond. They thought they had waterfront property!

What should I do? I can’t use my front door anymore out of concern for the little family just outside.

Humor welcome, and I’ll keep you posted!

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17 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Enjoy watching them! Show us pictures.

snowberry's avatar

She’s skittish, and won’t let anyone close enough to get a photo, but I’ll try. We’re also keeping the drapes closed, so we’re living in the dark. No matter!

stanleybmanly's avatar

One would assume that eminent domain should supersede the reasoning shortfalls of waterfowl. Forced relocation with the possible consequence of orphaning must be undertaken before the clutch expands exponentially. A big cage trap with the proper lure would be my recommendation and SOON.

seawulf575's avatar

On a serious note, if you are in the US, you might not be able to just move them. The MBTA (Migratory Bird Treaty Act) might apply. You could call your local county extension to find out options open to you.

However, if you want them to move on their own, you could just go in and out the front door regularly. They probably won’t like people so close. The male might hiss at you, but I’ve never heard of a duck attacking a person.

And if you REALLY want them to leave, set up a karaoke machine and have a party!

stanleybmanly's avatar

Since you are clearly interested in tolerating and encouraging the adventure, the proper advice is—good luck. The practical advice is therefore pointless. Board up the front door and surrender your yard to the squatters.

snowberry's avatar

To all: I posted this question with the idea of giving us all a chance to follow some lighthearted drama, Instead of the life and death drama of our new reality.

Hubby has a degree in wildlife science, and at this point I know just about as much as he does from studying on my own. We would certainly know how to make them move if we wanted to.

What we really want now is a duck cam! But lacking that I will post pictures as soon as I can figure out the technology.

Quack!

Edit: As an afterthought I will mention that this question was pushed to editing, And I was forced to phrase it in a way so I was asking for help. At any rate the whole idea is to have fun. Please feel free to post your own wild life experiences here as well.

janbb's avatar

@snowberry It sounds like you are enjoying your new neighbors. Just watch out for their uncle – Scrooge McDuck!

Mimishu1995's avatar

Let them be. As @janbb said, they may be related to Scrooge McDuck. Maybe if you are kind to them, they will make you a millionaire ~

snowberry's avatar

I thought of buying a kiddie pool for them, but that’s a useless expense, because it wouldn’t be used more than a day. That’s because once all the ducklings hatch, the mom takes them directly to water.

Normal mallards nest much closer to water, but this duck isn’t normal! She’ll have a hike!

At this point, there’s one egg in the nest. Eventually there may be as many as twelve. Hubby has gone to bed, so pictures will have to wait. I don’t know how to set that up.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@snowberry Normal mallards nest much closer to water, but this duck isn’t normal! She’s got a hike!

That would make them appreciate the pool even more! :D

kritiper's avatar

Continue to live as before. If the duck doesn’t like it, she can move on.

(FYI – The word “mallard” means wild male duck. You could call the male a mallard drake, or just mallard.)

MrGrimm888's avatar

Continue life, as normal. Nature, will do as it wants.

A baby pool, would be inadvisable. Unless you constructed some form of ramp, so that the ducklings could walk out…

I would leave everything alone. The mother duck, will make the appropriate decisions. As long as she thinks that the egg (s) are healthy, she won’t abandon it/them. She may flee for a while, if people are around. But, she’ll come back…

stanleybmanly's avatar

My thoughts on this situation would be more about the predation from local wildlife and pets. The nocturnal hunters in particular are not about to ignore so convenient a gift.

snowberry's avatar

Yes @stanleybmanly, And we do have foxes and coyotes, but ducks nest on the ground and they always have. The nest is somewhat protected because it’s in a planter against the house and under the eaves a few feet off of the ground, but a predator could easily get to it by stepping off of the porch. It’s a very odd place for a duck to build a nest, but as I said before this is not your ordinary duck! LOL She did have the good sense to build a nest under a bush so it’s pretty well concealed.

@kritiper thanks. I will keep it under advisement.

@MrGrimm888 yes I thought about all that. Unless a store-bought pool were big enough to actually harbor wildlife it would be useless for the little babies. And that is an unnecessary expense. So far she’s deposited one egg, but hasn’t really committed herself to this location. Perhaps it’s still too cold to expect much yet.

The good news is it rained and our pond came back! Hahaha!

Mimishu1995's avatar

Would the pond be big enough for them to swim?

snowberry's avatar

During a hard rain storm maybe the babies could swim in our “pond!” Hahaha!

snowberry's avatar

Our duck came back! We had a heckuva storm here last night with tornadoes all around and hail. I guess she thought the sheltered nest against the house and under the eaves was quite attractive after all that!

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