A perfect, blue skied, sunny weekend was made even better by a visit from my
Tyler spent the day with Grammie and Muppy on Sunday.
Before his arrival I told him that I had a surprise for him...
actually 16 little surprises.
Each visit Tyler checks the duck hut to see if any eggs hatched into baby ducks.
How happy he was yesterday to see that his wish had come true...
He was curious about the state of the nest in the duck hut,
and wanted to see if all the eggs had hatched.
Two had not.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Waddlington was giving swimming lessons in the pond.
I am so happy to say that this is our third generation of ducklings raised here on the pond
from a group of ducklings that I started four years ago.
Last year we had enough ducks, so we did not allow any to remain in the nest.
This year we let nature take its course.
It seems that all of the females laid their eggs in one nest this year
and Mrs. Waddlington chose to be the surrogate Mom for all.
She is doing a great job of keeping her brood together and teaching them their survival skills.
Amazingly, when ducklings are hatched naturally and fostered by a mother duck,
they are able to go into the water immediately.
This is due to the fact that the mother duck keeps her ducklings under her wing in the beginning.
This behavior helps to coat the ducklings down with the mother's oils...
preventing the ducklings from becoming water logged.
Ducklings raised in captivity without a Mother duck do not get the advantage of this oil,
and thus cannot spend long periods of time in the water until they are much older.
It always amazes me how Mother Nature takes care of all these little details.
Obviously, Sammie is not amazed by much of anything on this particular day!