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Duckling Gets Raised By An Owl And The Photos Are Adorable
366points
Animals3 years ago

Duckling Gets Raised By An Owl And The Photos Are Adorable

Recently, artist and photographer Laurie Wolf was in her backyard in Jupiter, Florida, inspecting all the different birdhouses (also known as nesting boxes) she and her family have put together. To her surprise, Laurie noticed a mother wood duck moving her egg.

More info: Facebook | wildworksgallery.com

Image credits: Laurie Wolf

“The mother duck removed the egg from one of our nesting boxes and flew toward this other box with it in her bill,” Laurie told Bored Panda. “We believe that the duck moved the egg because that nest had been raided – there were eggshells at the bottom of the pine tree where the box is.”

Image credits: Laurie Wolf

“A day or so after we saw that, a screech owl moved into that box.”

A month later, the ducking appeared in the box with the owl. “Seeing the owl with the duckling was honestly the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen in my life! It’s still hard to believe.”

Image credits: Laurie Wolf

“I’m sure the owl hatched the duck egg because she was in the box with it for a whole month,” Laurie said.

The woman got concerned that the predatory owl might eat the duck chick, so she contacted a bird expert. It turned out, Laurie was right to be fearful. One wildlife sanctuary in her area agreed to look after the duckling if Laure caught it. However, just as she attempted to capture the bird, it jumped out of the nest box and ran away to a nearby pond.

Image credits: Laurie Wolf

“A bit later, the baby duck was in the hole by itself, calling for the parents,” Laurie shared the update on Facebook. “We believe they heard each other because it suddenly left the box and made a beeline for the back fence and our neighbor’s pond where the woodies have been hanging out.

“Also, we had seen a female wood duck – about three or four weeks ago, remove a duck egg from a box that had been raided by something, and fly off toward this box with it.”

“We lost it in the trees and didn’t want to disturb it. But we believe she put it in this box and the owl hatched it.”

Laurie and her family haven’t seen the duckling ever since. “The pond nearby is on our neighbor’s property and is very hidden.”

Image credits: Laurie Wolf

According to National Geographic, wood ducks have been recorded living with eastern screech owls in the past as well. “It’s not commonly documented, but it certainly happens,” said Christian Artuso, the Manitoba director of Bird Studies Canada, who made a similar observation back in 2005 while he was studying eastern screech owls for his Ph.D.

Image credits: Laurie Wolf

Wood ducks are known to practice brood parasitism. This means that parent ducks will sometimes lay an egg or two in someone else’s nest. For example, another wood duck or some other closely related species. “You could think of it as not keeping all your eggs in one basket,” Artuso continued. “If you spread your eggs out, then your chances of passing on your genes are increased slightly, especially if you lose your own eggs to a predator.”

Image credits: Michael McCarthy

“We know this occurs, but we really don’t know the frequency,” the scientist concluded. “So I was happy to see another example of this.”

Image credits: Danielle Brigida

People had a lot to say about this

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Alice Laughs
Community Member
3 years ago

Three animal stories in a row? This is the quality content I come here for.

Nikki D
Community Member
3 years ago

Absolutely!

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Cassie
Community Member
3 years ago

What Janet Denton said about chickens is so true. We raised guinea fowl by putting guinea eggs under broody chickens. Guinea hens are just horrendous mothers, but chickens are serious about motherhood.

Wanda Queen
Community Member
3 years ago

Yep we brought home a few babies chickens once and one of our hens stepped up to raise them for a bit, then when they were about adolescent age she kicked them out and another hen adopted them. It was something to see!

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Virgil Blue
Community Member
3 years ago

The origin story of Darkwing Duck!

fruit_panda
Community Member
3 years ago

I haven't seen that show in so long!

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Alice Laughs
Community Member
3 years ago

Three animal stories in a row? This is the quality content I come here for.

Nikki D
Community Member
3 years ago

Absolutely!

Load More Replies...
Cassie
Community Member
3 years ago

What Janet Denton said about chickens is so true. We raised guinea fowl by putting guinea eggs under broody chickens. Guinea hens are just horrendous mothers, but chickens are serious about motherhood.

Wanda Queen
Community Member
3 years ago

Yep we brought home a few babies chickens once and one of our hens stepped up to raise them for a bit, then when they were about adolescent age she kicked them out and another hen adopted them. It was something to see!

Load More Replies...
Virgil Blue
Community Member
3 years ago

The origin story of Darkwing Duck!

fruit_panda
Community Member
3 years ago

I haven't seen that show in so long!

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