Mallards and Nesting in our back garden - advice would be really appreciated

Hi, we don't live that close to water and a Mallard has made a nest in our garden with 8 little eggs.  There is no male around, she appears to be alone.  We are keeping an eye on her but also keeping our distance.  What's the best way we can help her feed, given that she is on her own?  Also, can we cut the grass in our garden near her as I don't want to scare her away?

Any help or advice would be really appreciated.  I have attached a couple of pictures.  It's exciting to know that we will see some beautiful ducklings close to our back door. Mother Duck

kind regards

Dawn Hynes

  • Hi Dawn welcome to the community.
    Sorry no-one has replied to you yet, I can't really help but this may have some info for you www.rspb.org.uk/.../

    My Flickr photos

  • Hi Dawn,
    I haven't been on here for absolutely ages but just logged in and saw your post.

    That's so lovely having a duck nesting in your garden ! the canal is at the end of our garden and we often get a duck nesting in it.

    I have found that the male doesn't come near the nest while the female is sitting on it although he might be around somewhere close. The female stays on the nest a long time and doesn't come off it very often, if you do see her off it you could maybe put some seed out or I find they like small pieces of brown bread, but not too close to the nest otherwise it could attract other birds, also a nice dish of water would be appreciated as they do like a drink ! I don't think she eats much at this time, I assume she has built up fat reserves to see her through until the eggs hatch.

    We have been ok cutting our grass but our lawn is about 4ft away from the nest. When all the eggs are hatched she will probably be keen to take her ducklings down to the water, hope it's not too far away !

    Last year I saw a female duck with twelve ducklings walking in the gutter on a main A road, it was very busy with wagons hurtling past, obviously she was trying to get back to some water, it was very scary !! I turned my car around to see if I could shoo her off the road, but luckily she had already guided her chicks into a nearby field.

    Hope this helps you a bit, and really hope everything goes ok for mother and ducklings :)) Good Luck !

    What a wonderful world :))

  • Thank you that's really helpful. She arrived on her own and has remained there alone sadly, I haven't seen the male anywhere. I hope he is around, but something tells me he isn't. We are quite a distance from water, but they do tend to travel quite a distance sometimes. I got some advice from RSPB in the end. She is right next do our grass, but I've been out there to give her a bowl of water and she doesn't move, just watches.

    It's absolutely amazing and my daughter is loving it and has named her Fliss Waddle! haha Can't wait for the ducklings to be born.

    Thanks again for your message.

    Kind regards

    Dawn
  • Hello HynesDawn

    I am so loving your post and it takes me back many years to a lovely few weeks when a Female Mallard made daily visits to my garden with her 8 Ducklings. Alas she never nested in my garden, and it remains a mystery as to why she ventured in at all.

    Suffice to say , there is a fish farm close by me and a stream and see ducks on both all the time, so I knew she had to take them back to water after her morning visits. I expect the food I gave her and her brood helped and on a few occasions I filled a large shallow dish with water where the little ducklings happily drank and splashed around. It got so she would peck on my conservatory door each morning if I had not put food out and one day having left the door open I walked in to find them all inside the conservatory sitting waiting on me.

    Enjoy while you can and what fun for your daughter too. Mother Duck as all mothers are fiercely protective as found out when one day one of the ducklings found it's way down a steep set of steps in garden. Poor thing got down but could not climb back up , so I went to help.....boy Mummy Duck thought I was trying to hurt her little darling and she sure flew at me. However I did my duty and came out unscathed and all was well.

    I know I have pictures somewhere ..alas no PC or digital cameras back then but maybe just maybe if I find some time I can look them out and post.

    Regards S
  • Really appreciate your message, it is absolutely lovely and we can't wait to see the ducklings arrive. I've put some water out, but it's still a mystery as to where the male is. Would love to see some photos if you get the chance to find them.

    She's really fluffed up the nest now and settled in nicely, as you can see. :-)