Thursday, April 22, 2010

Of Birth and Death

The last month has flown by and just as we expected, our ducklings hatched in time for Easter. Red hatched three cute little peepers…

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who stayed on the nest for a while and then came out to play…

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and who are often found snuggled up together.

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Unfortunately, not all of the eggs hatched – Red had kicked a few of them out of the nest so they may have gotten too cold then or perhaps she did so because knew that something was wrong with them… ??

Mom opened one to see what was inside and this is what she found…

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Look at what a tight fit it is… isn’t nature amazing?

It hasn’t been all fun and games though. One of the ducklings caught pneumonia, was one the brink of death, and was brought into the house for some special care… wait! I’m having déjà vu… this happened last spring! Anyways, we have named her Pearl (Mom swears its a female…) and, well, she might become Earl.

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An infection as left her with a deformed bill (see that underbite?) and one of the remedies Mom used has left her with purple feathers… so she’s pretty funny looking to begin with…

but then when she preens or scratches she is quite the contortionist!

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Unfortunately, our paddle of quackers has suffered another, more serious, calamity. Bella, the mother of the others was attacked by a hawk a couple of weeks ago. Mom locked the other ducks up when she went into town, but because Bella had built a nest nestled close to the house beside the front porch and was sitting on her eggs, Mom left her there thinking she would stay on her nest where she would more than likely be safe. Mom was devastated when she came home to a macabre pile of white feathers in the horse paddock. Bella must have decided she wanted in with the others and was stranded out by her lonesome. Things just haven’t been the same since then. Jethro still looks for his mate (I know, I know, isn’t she his mom too? it’s just for one generation, we promise) and Red isn’t near as good of a mom as Bella was.

We miss you…