The Daisy Chronicles Day 15

Oh, my goodness. I missed it. Sharon Dunne posted a video of the Lorikeets visiting yesterday but, in that video is a split second visit of Lady to the nest. She is chased by the Pied Currawong – they simply do not just harass the fledglings – they also harass the adult WBSE. Lady was more interested in the Currawong and did not notice Daisy’s nest. Lady was on the nest for just a blink, nothing more while Daisy was away foraging! ——— Seriously, this is one lucky duck!

I took that screen capture from Sharon’s video that is posted on YouTube. You can watch the entire visit of the Lorikeets and Lady. Thanks, Sharon! Here is the link:

It is Day 15 and is 17 December in Australia. Daisy has already had two breaks today. She appears to now be taking shorter breaks but more of them. She first left for foraging at 01:10 returning at 03:10. This departure is right in the middle of her usual foraging breaks.

She returns and spends time drying off her plumage so that the down will not stick to her wet feathers.

Her second break of Day 15 comes at 05:09:04. She returns at 06:36:15.

There is no indication that either of the White-bellied sea eagles came to the nest this morning while Daisy was away. The Lorikeets did return in mass to say good morning to Daisy.

Some of the Rainbow Lorikeets were climbing in the top of the tree. Maybe they will lossen some of those dry leaves so Daisy has some more material to cover those eggs.

So far, the Lorikeets and the Noisy Miners have been the only birds to visit — so far this morning! The possum has been moving about, too. It is no danger at all to Daisy just maybe to that fluffy down.

The shadows are across the big nest. You can hardly see Daisy but she is there.

Daisy is sleeping in the warm sunshine. Look at all that down. It looks like our smart and brave little duck is sleeping on a cloud of twinkling stars.

Oh, just look at that purple/blue sometimes green (depending on the light0 wing pattern. How beautiful.

Daisy is very content to sleep and do her little wiggle moving the eggs. She takes time to fix the down, move the leaves, and sleep. Did you notice that there are a few more leaves that have fallen down to the nest?

Thank you cam operator for these great close ups!

The Lorikeets are returning to the tree. You can just see one on either side in the middle ground. You can hear more of them in the background.

What amazing colour patterns these beautiful birds have!

I hope that they climb around on the branches above Daisy. They could really help with leaf collection.

They must be so curious about this quiet little duck who has taken on a ‘time lease’ on the WBSE nest. They have been coming to visit more often each day.

The camera operator checked the Parramatta River. One of the WBSE – Lady or Dad – is on the River Roost!

Sometimes Daisy’s eye gives her away. Despite the fact that she has her beak tucked in behind her wing as if she is sleeping, she is very much alert and away. Has she heard something in the forest that concerns her?

I love how the leaves are getting tangled in with the down. Better camouflage to help conceal those eggs.

It is after lunch and so far all has gone well. Our little brave duck has weathered today with two breaks. I hope that she can wait til sunset to go for her last one of the day. Sunset today is 20:03. No showers or rain in the forecast. The temperature is 23 – a far cry from the 40 degrees C last time she had a clutch of eggs. Join me in wishing Daisy an uneventful afternoon incubating eggs!

Thank you so much for joining me today to check on our brave little duck. We might have to start calling her the ‘brave lucky duck’. Please take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the Sea Eagles@BirdLife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

12 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks Mary Ann! Daisy is so pretty and the blueish color in the wings is too!
    I’m kind of worried about the sea eagles if they see so much down they might want to investigate so I hoping more leaves fall from the beautiful lorikeets when they visit from above.
    Thanks for all the beautiful photos and updates! I wish Daisy a safe and wonderful day! I’ll be looking forward to your newsletters and updates soon!
    Take care!
    Linda

    1. It is my pleasure. She is such a gorgeous duck. Let us both hope the sea eagles don’t want to be bothered by the currawongs. I hope they stay fishing and head to Goat Island. It looks like the Lorikeets have been helping with the leaf drop a bit. I hope you had a good day, Linda. Thank you for loving this little duck!

  2. So relieved that Daisy is continuing to have good luck on all fronts! Makes me nervous to think about what could go wrong though…. Still crossing fingers!

    I keep meaning to ask you about her mate… is it true for all kinds of male ducks that they don’t get involved with protecting the female and eggs? Or just Daisy’s breed? She certainly could use the help!

    Thanks again for continuing reports, Mary Ann.

    1. Betty, it is true. The male ducks fertilize the eggs and that is it. I wondered myself why raptors evolved to have males that incubate and feed and ducks leave everything to the female. Daisy is all on her own. She came with her mate in December 2020 to look at the nest and then she selected the nest. At one time during that first clutch there was some indication that the male might have been ‘around’ – it was extremely tense last year -but Daisy is in charge of security, all incubation, etc. I wish it were different. It is when she is off those eggs that they are so vulnerable – and the male and her on that nest if the Ravens came could thwart them if there were more than 2. — I know that it is Mallards (Black Pacific Ducks are related to Mallards) and wood ducks. I will check and see if there are any male ducks that do help! Give me til tomorrow. What a great question. I am nervous, too. Cautiously optimistic at times. Fingers crossed.

      1. Thanks in advance, Mary Ann — I’ll be really interested in what you find out. Now I find myself wondering about other bird species and the male’s role. Seems like evolution would have always favored male and female working together.

      2. You would think so. I have been reading and asking. Sibley says that a nesting attempt by a duck (he is using Mallards as examples) as only a 15% chance of fledging any young. If Daisy pulls this off, it is even more remarkable. It appears that the males ‘might’ offer some sort of security/protection if the nest is on the ground but no indication in the current situation. He doesn’t seem to be on the tree and has done nothing we can see to help Daisy in terms of Ravens, etc. I am going to weave some of what I re-learned from last season with Daisy (she caused me to look at the life and behaviour of ducks then) into the next blog. I imagine others are wondering precisely what you are…thank you for the question!

      3. Thanks so much for researching this duck question, Mary Ann. It’s all so fascinating, the complexities of their lives (ducks, falcons, eagles — all birds). Thanks to all the nest cams we have nowadays it seems we’re also learning that these beautiful feathered creatures have unique personalities. No two alike, as individuals and mated pairs. But I digress….

        I’ll be looking forward to your next blog!

      4. It is wonderful that you have observed their individual differences – they certainly do have personalities. You are not digressing! I am mostly interested in their behaviours – especially Ospreys where there are three but I have come to enjoy learning about waterfowl since I met Daisy the beginning of this year. That has led me – and I hope many others – to appreciate the ducks in their locales. Daisy is marvellous. I hope you enjoy the next newsletter tomorrow.

      5. I too am most fascinated by the behaviors of all birds. Will email you when I get the chance about my own “study” (if you can call it that) of the triplet eaglets on the Redding nest several months ago. Perhaps similar to what you’ve discovered with the Ospreys…? The 3rd and smallest eaglet was not expected to survive but he turned out to be Mr. Personality, along with being the smartest and most endearing towards his siblings. All three succeeded due to having such great parents.
        Thanks again, Mary Ann!

      6. When you get a chance I would love to hear about your study of the Redding eaglets. Eaglets and Ospreys have the same levels of siblicide according to what research I could find. It is those remarkable third hatch survivors that are incredible. I would be so happy to hear about yours! So happy.

      7. Will try to get an email sent to you in the next few days about the Redding eagles. Those three young ones and their parents stole my heart — especially “Rebel”, the 3rd hatched. Looking forward to telling you about them all! 🦅

      8. When you have time. I love these third hatches! Thank you for wanting to share his story with me.

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