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Survival

13 May

As we read in the news on a daily basis we are overwhelmed by the tragedies theft we see whether in war torn places such as Syria or disasters such as the terrible factory collapse in India or the individual deaths of health and violence.

I have had the privilege of being part of a special experience regarding a family of ducks
3 ducks (2drakes and a duck) who have visited on a regular basis for several years not for bread I hasten to add as this is very harmful and can cause ‘angelwing’ a serious disease of ducks so we have fed them on grain and various food scraps.

Then out of the blue we noticed that only the drakes were coming and low & behold the duck had carefully made a nest under a bush against a wall and she has started laying. After 2-3 days we counted 11 eggs and each day she sat on them carefully rolling them with her feet and only short breaks to eat. This she did diligently for 30days and then appeared 10 ducklings following her in line staggering and barely able to walk. After devouring the contents and ? shells of the eggs as the nest only showed the 11th half eaten egg they were being taken straight to the nearest water.

Day by day mother duck has appeared with her young but sadly each day with one less duckling and now she has only 6….
On watching them all the ducklings have their own character the bold that leads the way the frail that struggles to follow the one that wants to cling to the mother the one that gets led on by the bold one or just wanders off and those that simply confirm. We have no way of telling how or which ones meet their end and who will survive.

Seemingly., they all start with the same chance but predators, circumstances and inherent health determines who lives and who dies…….

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The drakes keep their distance and have no part in the rearing of the young

image ducklings 1

ducklings 2

Ducklings huddled under the outstretched wing for warmth and protection

ducklings 3
Written by Dr Jacqueline Bayer

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