Daisy left to go foraging at 15:31:45 on a soggy Sydney Friday afternoon. She returned to her eggs at 17:49:49. Two hours and eighteen minutes. Not bad! There was some concern over the wet nest and the cool temperatures but, Daisy knows best!
Like all of her returns recently, Daisy is hyper cautious. She lands on the nest and looks around. Then she listens. We have all seen how the WBSE can arrive in a split second!
Daisy even stops to do some preening.
Then, all of a sudden, Daisy rushes over to get on her eggs. She is a bit of a blur in the image below. Gosh that nest is wet and soggy.
There is plenty of time for the sea eagles or the ravens to return to the nest before the sun sets but, they don’t. Sometimes boring quiet days are the best – even for humans, too!
Not everyone believes that ducks have good night vision. Some people think that birds can only see during the daylight hours – any kind of bird. And if you have bird feeders you will have seen the songbirds arrive at dawn and depart at dusk. Falcons and hawks do that and so do sea eagles. But we have seen Daisy return after dark when the sea eagles have arrived before dusk. And we have watched her leave around 4:00 one morning and return before day break.
Last night Daisy left her nest at 2:45. She tried to cover it up as good as she could but the down is so soggy! She returns forty-five minutes later. Daisy probably took a bathroom break. But again, this solidifies our knowledge that ducks can see when it is very dark. Daisy has been able to freely move around in the forest.
I began to think that she should move any ducklings that do hatch under the cover of darkness while all of their predators are sleeping! Except, of course, BooBook Owl.
You can see in the image above that some of the eggs are exposed. Daisy has done the best ever with that old wet down. Surely the Ravens are asleep and I think that the little owl will not bother them, hopefully. Daisy returns and all is well at her nest.
It is Saturday in Australia. At dawn, the temperature is 21.8 degrees C and they are predicting more showers. However, it should get fairly hot on Sunday rising to 26. This really could be a help in drying out all that down and making it fluffy again.
In the image below, it is 5:30. Daisy is waking up and waiting to see if the sea eagles will fly through the forest trying to catch her. They certainly have done this a few times lately.
But no one comes. By 7:00 the glow of the morning is spreading across the forest. Daisy is trying to catch some rest. She has her beak tucked under her wing.
Wow! Look at the beautiful markings on Daisy’s head and those gorgeous brown eyes.
In the image below, Daisy is rolling her eggs. Remember that Daisy plucked down from her own breast to line the nest and help keep the eggs war. Removing the down creates a bald spot known as the brood patch. This touches the eggs and transfers the heat from Daisy to the eggs so that the duckling can grow. But the eggs cannot simply sit there. They must receive even heat. Daisy uses her bill and her feet to roll the eggs and move them about so that they each receive the same amount of heat. Rolling helps ensure that each of the developing ducklings will hatch at roughly the same time.
Daisy has her beak in the nest turning the eggs and her feet are also gently paddling them. Daisy is such a good mother!
It is only 7:30 in Sydney. Wet and cool. So far the WBSE have not ventured into the forest and even the Ravens are not moving about. Let us hope that it is simply a boring day for Daisy!
I will post an update on Daisy’s Day about 11pm CDT. Stay tuned for any happenings during the day. Still, I hope that there is nothing to report.
A big welcome to Daisy’s new fans from Belgium. Our girl is so happy that people around the world care about her plight.
Thank you to Sea Eagle cam, Birdlife Australia, and the Discover Centre for providing the camera so that I could capture the screen shots.