We have a duck that has been nesting in our garden. She's been sat on the eggs for a couple of weeks and we've kept well away. This morning I saw some feathers on the lawn so went outside and she's gone. The eggs are exposed, but intact. The feathers on the lawn look downy so could be from the nest itself....
I want to wait for her to come back, but should I be doings something else? Bringing the eggs in to keep then warm? Phone an animal charity?
(Pardon the Scottish Accent)
As Linda says, do not touch the eggs.
Like all mum's, they need a break from nest sitting, and also need to feed, and though it may seem cold to us, the thermal qualities of the down will help keep the eggs, which are probably more robust against the cold than we might think warm.
Keep a lookout by all means.
Flickr Peak Rambler
In reply to Tomtomtom:
Tomtomtom said:Thanks both, she still isn't back so will keep an eye out for her. Hoping the feathers aren't from a fight with a cat, fingers crossed she'll be back.
While predation is a possibility, I would have thought there would be main plumage feathers as well if she's been attacked, so its possible the down feathers have become attached to her and just fallen off as she had moved away.
Nature can be very harsh sometimes, and one of the reasons why many species have so many eggs is to counteract infant and adolescent mortality.
Left alone, nature balances out the numbers nicely, its human impact that has the negative affect.
But it can be harsh to see the demise of young chicks, ducklings and goslings, but that is nature.
I know its hard, take comfort in the fact that you care, and have done all you can, whatever the end result might be.
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