The Duck’s Nest and Sorrow

For days in the early spring I watched a mallard duck and his partner sitting on the road behind the truck wash. The long weekend brought me into my back yard where I notice I had a new friend. A mallard duck. Each time I went into my back yard she would fly away from my garden gate. I discovered she was sitting on 7 eggs.

I learned a lot how she covered up her nest with feathers and leaves. I watched daily to be sure that “Nellie” was sitting on her eggs. She would never stay in her nest when I worked in my yard.

On Saturday June 16 I came home from Battle River Ranch and checked on Nellie. Sadness. Disappointment. The nest was destroyed and 2 eggs were broken. Nellie was gone. 

My friend Ron had lent me his camouflage video camera to record Nellie and her family. We checked the camera and found a critter at the nest. It appears to be a white cat that ate 2 eggs. The eggs would have been hatching and the cat most likely came upon an easy meal. My friends.

I’ve waited days and Nellie has not returned to sit on her remaining egg babies. They were cold to the touch. I decided to open one. Inside I found a fully developed chick. Deceased from lack of warmth from her mother Nellie.

I was so looking forward to seeing the ducklings and watching Nellie lead her family to a water source. Instead the story ends here and my back yard friends are gone.