Most Aussie wood duck couples produce very large broods. There are often a dozen or more chicks, but a local pair here in Blackheath have ended up with just four. I really don’t like to think what happened to the rest. The F word comes to mind, as in FOX!
But let’s look on the bright side, the surviving quads are great characters;
I was walking down to the pond one morning recently when I came across a traffic jam….well what constitutes one in this quiet neck of the woods. Something was holding things up.
Oh my word, I should have known. It was the young quads and their parents, heading for the water. Dad was in charge, ushering them across the road. At least he was using the official crossing point; ‘Hurry up youngsters, there’s another car coming down the hill!”
A couple of chicks were failing to pay proper attention; no sense of urgency at all.
I tried to help, but their protective parent wasn’t at all impressed;
Anyway, they managed to get across without incident, then clambered under the wire fence.
Mother wood duck came waddling up the rear, better late than never I suppose. Next minute they were all happily swimming about. Mind you, the water level in the pond is alarmingly low at the moment. We need good rain, which is unusual for a village dubbed ‘Bleakheath’ by rival Blue Mountains communities.
Good luck in life dear little wood ducks.
If you would like to know more about these charming native ducks, click HERE