Daisy is back!

Daisy is a Pacific Black Duck. This past January Daisy laid her second clutch of eggs in the old Ironbark Tree used by the White-Bellied Sea Eagles for their nest. She has now returned to lay her first clutch for the 2021-22 season. She laid her first egg today!

Last year we held our breath watching Daisy pick the nest with her mate, lay her eggs, be frightened off by Dad and Lady only to find out their were curious – not harmful. WBSE do not like duck down! It sticks to their bills and must feel ‘fuzzy’. The Rainbow Lorikeets came to visit Daisy every morning. The culprits were the Ravens.

The female Black Pacific Duck normally lays their nest on the ground. Daisy might believe or know for certain that is unsafe. So she tried this high tree deep in the forest. I wrote blog after blog about this brave little Duck that outwitted the big sea eagles. Sadly, the WBSE scattered the down lining the nest cup that had come from Daisy’s chest. She was able to replace it once but then it rained. When she got up off the nest to get food for herself (her mate does not help her at all), the Ravens saw the eggs and ate them. They were within a couple of days of hatching. It appears that Daisy wants to take her chances again using the nest of Dad and Lady. My goodness. Welcome back, Daisy!

Can you see her?

There it is!

You will notice that Daisy has not lined the egg cup with the down from her breast. She will. It seems she was in a hurry to get into this big nest and lay that egg. I wonder if she laid eggs elsewhere and was frightened away? Isn’t she beautiful?

This is so exciting. Daisy renewed my love for ducks last year. The camera operator at the Sea Eagle nest is very good at getting close ups of the beautiful nest cup she will make. The image below is from day 13 of incubation. Daisy was half way to hatch. She is listening for the sea eagles. You can see the mess that Lady made with the duck down – that precious lining and covering, scattered.

Daisy’s beautiful lined nest in early 2021

Daisy was always very cautious when she returned to the nest. She would listen and look around for a long time. She did not want anyone to see where her clutch of precious eggs was.

Satisfied that no one is around, Daisy sits on her eggs.
A friendly Rainbow Lorikeet curious about the little duck in the big sea eagle nest.

This morning I wrote that there wasn’t much happening in the Australian nests and wow – Daisy, you just changed all of that. So everyone even if you think you do not like ducks you will want to watch The Chronicles of Daisy – the little duck that thwarted the great big sea eagles! Here is the link to the camera. Oh, I am so excited I can hardly sit still. Seriously, this is better than ice cream or your favourite mystery thriller.

Just a note. Daisy will not do hard incubation until all of the eggs are laid. There will be between 7-12 normally. The ducklings will all hatch at once and jump off the nest when they are 24 hours old. They will then follow Daisy quickly to the Parramatta River where she lives and where they will immediately forage for food.

Thank you to the Sea Eagles @ Bird Life Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took these screen shots.

4 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness! I saw Daisy on the nest a couple of weeks after 27 and 28 fledged. (At the time I was still hoping one of the fledglings might make an appearance. ) She came up from the right side of the nest and I wondered what in the world a duck was doing on the sea eagle nest! This is a most interesting development — I shall start watching the nest again. Thanks so much, Mary Ann!

    1. Yes, she came and checked out the nest and it was vacant! Last year her and her mate visited the nest in December and she laid her eggs in January. That nest with the leaves and the down was sooooo beautiful. The Lorikeets are darlings and many of them would come around 8:30 just to say hello to Daisy. Dad was curious and so was Lady but they did not destroy her nest. Everyone thought they would. Dad tried one egg and really didn’t like it but they did damage the down at the end. Lady had it all over and Daisy did not have enough left on her breast. So when it rained the down shrunk and then the Ravens could see the eggs. It was so, so sad. They were within a couple of days of hatching.

  2. Linda Kontol says:

    How exciting! Thank you Mary Ann! I love ducks and geese. I remember Daisy! Thanks for all the photos of her!
    I Pray all goes well
    Have a great evening,
    Linda

    1. Oh, Linda, it is exciting! I so hope it turns out for her this year. She must be concerned about the foxes or I would think she would make her nest down by the water. I would love to sit on one of those branches and protect her! I bet you would, too. Fingers crossed! She could not have laid that egg on a better day.

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