Matilda the Mallard - Catching Up (Days 2, 3, 4, and 5)
So those that know me... I'm a big nerd. So after the excitement wore off about having duck eggs in my flowerbed, I started panicking about what I needed to do to help protect this nest. Mind you my brother-in-laws are avid duck hunters - Dallis, in particular, was very adamant about me protecting those babies!
Cue the research.... panic.... more research.... excitement.
Fun facts I learned during my research:
Legal Status. Mallards are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. It is illegal for any person to take, possess, transport, sell, or purchase them or their parts, such as feathers, nests, or eggs, without a permit. - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
A clutch size (nest of eggs) can range from 1 - 13 eggs with the female laying one egg a day (normally).
Eggs will incubate 23-30 days with the female sitting on her nest close to 20 hours a day. She won't get up to eat, drink, or use the restroom during this time.
After the ducklings hatch, they will be born with a fuzzy layer of down which will dry out in 13-16 hours. After this time, the mother duck will lead the ducklings to water.
So more research and excitement took place, then a lightbulb went off!
I wanted a way to keep an eye on Matilda and her eggs. I started joking about doing a live stream like they do at the zoos for anticipated births. I had to throw on the brakes, because I started getting too carried away. I realized I could borrow one of my Ring cameras to suspend over her nesting area which would literally provide a bird's eye view of Matilda and her eggs.
Matilda has proved to be your traditional duck by laying an egg a day to give us 5 eggs in her clutch. She officially started "incubating" her eggs today. So countdown for hatchlings has commenced!
This will be a bit longer video since I'm wanting to catch everyone up to present day. Enjoy and feel free to share!