Pacific Black Duck - eggs hatching shortly

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alison.stamp.kirk
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Pacific Black Duck - eggs hatching shortly

I have a Pacific Black Duck incubating eggs in my front garden in Blackburn Vic. She has been sitting for at least 3 weeks.

The nest is on top of a staghorn fern (mounted on a stringybark) and is 5-6 metres from the ground and about 200 m or more (as the duck flies) from Gardiners Creek. But ducklings dont fly so I am worried about how mother duck will get her babies to water when the magic day comes that she calls them down from the nest.

My neighbours have opened access to their swimming pool (not chlorinated) for her and her brood should they head that way. If they head for the creek (opposite direction) they will be in all sorts of trouble with motor vehicles. 

Any advice please

HelloBirdy
HelloBirdy's picture

This would depend on what sort of area you live in. If you are in the middle of a large city or beside a very busy street, things will be tough for these little ducklings. However, if you live in a quiet suburban area, they should be fine. A few ducklings might be lost along the way, but thats natural and thats why they lay so many eggs. If you are there when the moment arrives, it may be good to help them cross roads by stopping cars etc., but I would think it would be best to let the parent take them where she wants when she wants

Ryu
Canberra
Aiming for DSLR-quality shots with a bridge camera

Woko
Woko's picture

I've seen Pacific Black Ducks nesting in a cedar tree about 500 metres from the River Murray so the sort of thing you have in your garden isn't unknown. Rest assured, the ducks instinctively know what they're doing.

Traffic is a problem, however. Alerting neighbours to the presence of the ducks might see Duck Watch develop (formally or informally) whereby people will be on the lookout to shepherd the ducklings to safety when they're good to go. Another idea is to contact your local council & ask them to put up duck warning signs on all roads likely to be crossed on the way to Gardiners Creek.

Generally, I notice that motorists are far more likely now to slow down for ducks than they were 20 years ago.

alison.stamp.kirk
alison.stamp.kirk's picture

Thank you Woko.  Duck watch is underway. Council have signs on main roads already but one can't realistically expect signage in all the bushy streets of this neighbourhood.

alison.stamp.kirk
alison.stamp.kirk's picture

Thank you Ryu. The area is bush-suburban and most residents are wild life-wise. Here's hoping mother duck chooses a quiet time of day to lead her brood forth. If I am lucky enough to see them I will post a photo.

Woko
Woko's picture

I should have mentioned speed limit signs, too, if they're not already in place alongside the CAUTION PACIFIC BLACK DUCKS CROSSING signs.  Not only might these ventures protect the ducks but they also help to create or reinforce a wildlife-friendly culture.

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