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 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.
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.