Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Indian Runner ducks make good parents so far

I've read again and again that Indian Runner ducks rarely sit on their eggs and are terrible parents.  So far I haven't found this to be true.  My friend's Runner duck sat last year and this so I held out high hopes for ours since they're the offspring of hers.  Ginger has been a diligent broody duck, only leaving her nest a few times a day to eat and drink.  A few days ago I saw her out galavanting with Gilligan and wondered where Skipper was.  I looked in their duck house and there was Skipper sitting on the eggs.  I had no idea the males (drakes) helped with the egg sitting.

Today I was amazed again.  It was day 28 -  egg hatching time.  I went out before work to see if there was any new life.  Once again Ginger was out looking for food but she left the nest unattended.  Inside were two tiny ducks, no bigger than golf balls, it appeared.  There were 6 more unhatched eggs.  When I came home this afternoon I went straight to the duck house to see if there were any more.  Ginger was sitting on the nest with Skipper sitting right beside her.  Both were alert and on guard.  They weren't very happy to have me gawking at them.  One of the ducklings popped out from underneath Ginger but she quickly tucked him back under her wing and both parents hissed or quacked at me.  Skipper stood up to warn me and when he did I saw he was sitting on at least one egg.  I snapped a few pictures then left them to be parents.  Double click on this picture to see the duckling next to Ginger's head.

 If you look under Skipper you'll see the egg he was sitting on.

 I can't help but keep checking on them which irritates them, I'm sure.  Last I checked only Ginger was in  there and there were no eggs in the space where Skipper had been sitting.  So, did he pass the egg back to her?   I find this all so interesting. 

I had to check one more time before  publishing this post and here are two more pictures.  Again, double click on them so you can see the ducklings.  One of them is under her beak, along with some eggs.  So far we only see two.

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