Thursday, May 04, 2006

19 babies

we have wood ducks -- or will!! the prolific pair has so far withstood a barky overactive dog, trespassing fishermen and me stomping through the woods ... the proof being a clutch of 19 -- yes, NINETEEN -- eggs in the box closest to the pond.

poor momma. just the thought of squeezing out 19 eggs makes me want to take a nap.

will we see the babies? doubtful, for if my sources are correct, wood ducks fledge in a day. to these ducklings, fledging entails clambering out of the box and dropping most ignominiously to the ground -- for they can't fly -- and making a beeline for the nearest body of water.

i see great potential for trauma at the hands of good ole red in tooth and claw Mother En. a couple years ago i presided over the nesting, egg-laying and proud parenthood of a pair of bluebirds. before the fledglings left the nest, however, they were discovered and devoured by the resident rat snake, which literally climbed the birdhouse pole and squeezed enough of his fat body into the house to reach the nest.

i can just imagine my poor ducklings (for they're mine, now) falling like tiny brown, panicked skyjumpers to an uncertain fate below. this is why i'm arguing for immediate dispatching of all 3 cats. at the very VERY least they should be safely confined for the next couple weeks. i think the dryer's the safest place.


fatmammycat said...

eeek, that is tricky, cats love nothing more than mauling chicks. The bigger of mine would delight in their wholesale murder. Hum, if they can make it to the water they're safe enough I suppose. Guess you'll just have to watch for the first sighn of the eggs starting to open and cage the beasts until the chicks make a run for it.

finn said...

just sticking them in the dryer right now seems a whole lot easier. i think the duckie parents would concur, too.