Ah, someone wrote to me and suggested that I check out a streaming cam at a house in Florida. There is a pair of Muskovy Ducks that made a nest and the female has laid a pile of eggs.
The Muscovy Duck is easily recognized by the red warty like patches on its face. They are mostly black with a green iridescence on their wings and white patches. You can see them clearly in the image below. Muscovies are so large that they are often mistaken for geese. They are, however, dabbling ducks not to be mistaken for geese! The Muscovies are larger than a mallard and smaller than a Canada Goose.
Normally they would make their nest in a tree cavity, 3-18 metres off the ground. They will also lay their eggs in specialty nest boxes. On occasion they will make their nest on the ground in dense vegetation near water. Ah, but look. I don’t see any dense vegetation. Hopefully the hill slants down to water for the little ones. Ironically, the female duck will be faithful to this nesting spot all her life! Or that is what the Cornell Bird Lab says. I wonder then if she has made her nest at this location previously? and if she will return next year?
But, as you can see here the couple were attracted to this corner of a residence in Parkland, Florida.
The clutch is normally 8-15 eggs. I can’t count these eggs precisely. Look at all the down she has pulled off her chest to make the lining for the nest. So beautiful. The female must feel pretty secure in this location to leave her eggs unattended. The female defends this nest and will be the only one that looks after the eggs and the ducklings.
That said, I found a photo of a male helping the female get the ducklings across a road.
In terms of conservation status, the number of Muscovy Ducks is declining.
This is such a very interesting nest with the eggs in a kind of raised area in a corner. Incubation is approximately 30 days. That said, I do not know precisely when the last egg was laid so it will be a bit of a guess when hatch comes. Wow. Won’t it be wonderful to see all those little ones follow their mom to the water?!
Today, before I could finish this blog, ‘something’ found the ducks nest, removed some of the soft down lining, and broke at least one egg. You can see the broken egg to the left of the image on top of the mulch. There is no time code and I rewound as far as I could with no luck in finding out what had happened or how many of the eggs were damaged. They would have come to the nest when the mother was away and this duck would be fierce if she were there.
The family have put a bamboo fence to help keep away predators. It is possible that a number of eggs were taken if we compare the image below to the one above.
I hope the good intentions of the owners did not frighten the duck off the nest. Lots of things happened to Daisy the Duck and she always returned, fingers crossed here. The camera has been streaming since 23 June when the duck came and laid the eggs. I wonder how many more days to hatch?
It would be so helpful if the males were hard wired to help the female protect these nests!
You can join me watching the ducks here:
Thank you so very much for joining me. I hope that you like ducks as much as I do! Keep your fingers crossed for this mother. She has to have comfort breaks and she also has to eat. It is really warm in Florida now and she must stay hydrated.
Thank you to the Duck Cam – Live Aviary Cam – Duck Nest Cam where I took my screen shots.