Seven fuzzy ducklings

These seven Australian wood ducklings were noticed on a Chakola property recently, when the landholder realised they had been in their own for two days with no parents in sight.

Ducklings stay within the protective shelter of their parent’s supervision until they are 1 1/2 to 2 months old. During this time, they are able to swim and catch their own food, but it may take a few tries for them to learn what is edible and what isn’t. Wood Ducks form strong, life-long bonds and both parents help raise and care for their young once they’ve hatched.

An amazing site to witness is the day after the chicks hatch, when they jump from their nest – sometimes from as high as 50 feet – and make their way to water.

The Australian Wood Duck is also called a maned duck or maned goose. Wood ducks form monogamous breeding pairs that stay together year round. They nest in tree hollows, above or near water, often re-using the same site. Their diet consists of grasses, clover, herbs and occasionally insects. It is rarely seen on open water. Perhaps surprisingly, they do not appear to like swimming, preferring instead to forage by dabbling in shallow water, or in grasslands and crops. The breeding season in our southern region is from September to November.

While the question of what happened to their parents goes unanswered, it is comforting to know they are under the excellent supervision of one of our licensed carers until they can be released back into the wild.


Sunday 28 November, 2021

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