The Daisy Chronicles: Daisy and her mate return to the nest

Yesterday was a huge challenge for our little duck, Daisy. She flew off her eggs once the showers had slowed down at 06:10:20. When she left she never dreamed that when she returned at 07:50:02 that she would find her down scattered all over the nest along with broken egg shells. She removed one large piece of shell with embryo at 07:51 off the nest returning some six minutes later. Daisy was nothing short of bewildered but she was also frightened. Several times she literally froze. The telling sign was the fact that, at one time, standing near the rim of the nest when she was pacing, she soiled the nest. Birds are very clean and it is only the little ones that do this — Daisy was scared.

Daisy returned with her mate to try and find her eggs twelve hours later. My friend ‘P’ sent me a screen capture this morning. I am very grateful as I would not have known. She has placed a red circle on the male.

Daisy’s actions on the nest were very touching. I don’t want us to forget the goodness of Daisy and the hope that she had and that she gave to all of us.

I decided to capture Daisy’s actions with her mate at the nest to share with you. Daisy and her mate return to the nest at sunset, after the dangerous predators are roosting. She paces and quacks looking for her eggs for nearly ten minutes before quacking and flying off with her mate.

In the first video Daisy arrives with her mate. The male always stays on the branch or behind. He never goes to the nest. The last video, 6, shows Daisy flying off. In between, 2-5, Daisy searches for her eggs quacking or looks out from the rim of the nest ’empty’.

Daisy, like all other animals (including human animals), has emotions. She is confused and grief stricken. She is suffering. This was her family that was taken and she doesn’t even know what happened. Imagine for a moment that was you. The word that I am searching for is sentinence. Sentinence is the ability to experience feelings and sensations. Let us not think for a moment that a whale has more sentinence than our little duck. One is not greater than the other. It is for this reason that we need to take better care of all of the birds and animals on our planet – and our planet itself. I rejoice in knowing that everyone who is reading this blog is doing the absolute best that they can and striving to do more each day.

I don’t know how to make the situation for Daisy better. I would hope that those who live near the Sydney Olympic Forest and who have some influence might check to see that the duck boxes for laying and hatching eggs are the right configuration for Daisy. The question is: have ducks ever used those boxes? if not, why? After being certain I would place one or two or ten near to where Daisy could see them. While I know that we would all love to see our beautiful Daisy on the nest again – what a delight when she landed on the nest! – I believe that we all want Daisy to experience motherhood and a successful hatch and fledge. To do that, Daisy must try and find a safer place than the WBSE nest.

Daisy brought us much joy. For that I will always be grateful. And when I do not feel very brave, I hope to remember how she thwarted the Ravens twice by puffing up big and lunging. Take care Mr and Mrs Daisy.

Thank you for joining me. So many of you have written wondering about Daisy’s reaction. I hope that these videos give you an idea that Daisy is not different than we are – she is grieving. Please take care. Breathe.

Thank you to the Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Forest where I took my screen captures and video clips. I also want to thank ‘P’ for alerting me to Daisy’s evening return with her mate.

Oh, what a beautiful little Mum you would be, Daisy.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Yes Mary Ann she is very confused and greiving I believe too. I was so glad to see the mate had returned with her. I guess it was hard for him to believe too! She left for foraging and returned to broken egg shells. May they be Blessed with a new nest in a safer place next time.
    Thank you Mary Ann for this update and all the lovely photos of Daisy.
    I will always remember her and what a brave little ma a duck she was.
    Take care and be safe!

    1. Daisy was so frightened. I wondered if the Ravens were up on the top of the tree when she came back. She tried to go down as far as she could in the nest once. I am happy that her mate came back with her to check. She had to be in utter disbelief, Linda. Everything had gone so well but those visits by the Ravens. — Linda, I still wonder if she tried a different nest this time and laid some eggs and they were destroyed. She literally flew up to this nest and without any prep laid an egg. — It is normally 47 days between clutches but I was told by a very reliable source that if the eggs are broken in the wild ducks the male will try and mate with the female after 10 days.I pray she does not return to this nest. As much as I would like to see her. The Sea Eagles will be coming in regularly in January. It is a bit sad that the male came with her – I think she was too frightened to come to the big nest alone. I wish he had come and relieved her so that the eggs were not exposed. I am baffled as to why this doesn’t happen. — She is a duck to remember. Take care Linda. Thank you for caring.

      1. Linda Kontol says:

        Oh yes I think the same thing Mary Ann! I believe she was frightened too. I wish the mate will help Daisy find a safer place for her to lay her eggs even though we would love to watch her and I was so looking forward to seeing them jump off the nest. It isn’t safe here. The ravens and the currowongs (sp).
        I’m so sorry that this happened to Daisy. We all hated to see this happen.
        Take care Mary Ann and I’m praying we will hear something from Daisy soon somehow.🙏❤️

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