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We have a good sized pond and for the last couple of spring/summers a mallard pair have made use of our facilities (and bird food) to raise their ducklings. Last year they had 2 broods of 12-15 ducklings!
This year they arrived early January and seem to be 'courting', she has made her nest in the same place (a planter under my kitchen window) and has been laying eggs for the last 7-10days, it looks like there are about 20eggs in there!
They are reasonably tame and come within about 1 metre when they see me coming out of the house with the mealy worms i put out for the birds each day.
My question is - are these eggs fertilised/viable? As it is SO early in the year (previously she nested April/May and then August).
Will ducklings survive if they do hatch? If they are not viable, they might attract vermin or magpies etc which could also lead to them compromising a future nest.
Obviously we don't want to go near the nest or upset the female. We live in the countryside in a farming area.
Any advice most welcome! Thank you!
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
In reply to Catlady:
How lovely to have ducks nesting in your garden. It has been unseasonably mild so they maybe ok. If she's happily sitting on them?
Little info from the RSPB website I found which may help answer some of your questions.
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