Lady and Dad had no more than finished eating the fish that was brought to the nest yesterday – in case one of the eaglets showed up – than our very own Daisy flies in! Yes, you read that correct!
Daisy is a Pacific Black Duck. Last year her and her mate visited the White-Bellied Sea Eagles’s nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest in December. They decided that it was the perfect place for Daisy to make her nest and raise her ducklings. The pair worked very hard making a nest cup lining it with leaves and the soft down that Daisy pulled off her breast. It was a work of art!
There were seven eggs in the nest. In total, however, Daisy laid nine eggs. Dad ate one and it is presumed that Daisy laid one egg elsewhere on a day when Dad decided to stay all day at the nest trying to catch her. Daisy is a very intelligent duck!
Here she is laying her last egg.
No one knew how but Daisy managed to thwart efforts of eviction. Lady and Dad were very curious and would come to the nest and mess it up but they were curious only. Dad had tried to eat a second egg and couldn’t and seemed to not like the taste of them anyway! Daisy would wait for the sea eagles to leave and return quietly to incubate her eggs. They were close to hatch when, at a time she was off the nest, the Ravens came and found them. Hundreds of people cheered the little duck on. No one thought that her or her eggs would last longer than a week but, she almost made it. Maybe this year she will.
This morning Daisy came to visit the nest again. Look closely. Her camouflage really works well. Can you see her?
There she is right in the middle of the nest.
What a relief to see that our darling little Daisy survived another year. She looks really nice and fit except for her paddle feet which look a little worse for wear since last year.
I could not see if her mate was with her or not. He certainly didn’t come into the nest but he might have been on one of the branches. Last year, he was very active in helping Daisy select the nesting site. Sadly, he was not active in protecting Daisy and the eggs.
Normally Black Pacific Ducks would make their nests on the ground near water. In this case it would be somewhere along the Parramatta River. There are, as we well know, predators ready to steal the eggs or eat the ducklings the minute that they are laid or hatch. Perhaps Daisy still thinks it is worth the risk of the ravens to try for a clutch here. Black Pacific Ducks lay two clutches of eggs a year. This is earlier than last year so, perhaps, this would be the first of two clutches this breeding season.
Oh, those beautiful wings. I cannot tell you how excited I am to see Daisy and to think of the possibility of seeing ducklings jump off this old nest in the Ironbark Tree. That would be really amazing.
I will keep you posted of developments or you can tune into the Sea Eagles cam to see if Daisy returns tomorrow morning. Here is the link to Cam 4 without the chat:
If there are any updates on WBSE 27 I will bring them to you tomorrow. There was some clarification about what happened. 27 had been standing on the road or sidewalk. When it flew up it was attached by a group of Currawong who kept hitting its head and it fell to the pavement. Thankfully a ranger was close by and 27 was alert in the transport van. So far no news is good news. I am really hopeful that 27 will get great care and if there was nothing broken or no internal injuries, it will make a full recovery and be returned to the wild. Indeed, this could all be a blessing in that 27 will be strong and well fed and able to fly before it is released. This might be just the chance it needs to survive.
Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon!
Thank you to the SeaEagle Cam@ Birdlife Australia for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.