Puzzling Photos

I spotted a duck flying across a pond and began photographing it as it flew toward and past me. I could see in the viewfinder that it had something large in its bill as I was tracking it. I was surprised by what I was seeing when I checked the photographs on my camera display. But the processed photos confirmed that the female Mallard was carrying an egg. The egg was intact except for a small opening that allowed the Mallard to hold it in her bill. This is what I saw and the photos were the subject of a query to the Cornell Labs. This was probably the strangest bird behavior I had ever seen.

The Lab replied that Mallard ducklings leave the nest the morning after they hatch and the mother just leaves the empty shells in the now abandoned nest. However, the mother will remove damaged eggs if she is still incubating her eggs. It seems likely that she was taking a damaged egg away from the nest area in order to dispose of it. Now there’s a new and interesting fact for my bird knowledge for sure!

5 thoughts on “Puzzling Photos

  1. These were such an interesting photos and I’m so glad the mystery is solved! Thank you for sharing this information.


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