Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Owl mom takes care of a duck egg until it hatches

One day, Laurie Wolf was hanging out in her backyard. She was looking out over all the different nesting boxes she and her family have placed around, and suddenly noticed something odd. There was a mother wood duck moving one of her eggs from one box to another. “The box she took it from had been raided by something,” Wolf said.

It made sense that the mother duck had taken her egg and moved it to another box. But Wolf didn’t see which one is that. She didn’t think much of it and she hoped the egg was somewhere safe. She was not that much interested in what happened and the whole occurrence faded from her mind until about a month later when she saw the strangest and sweetest sight emerge from one of the boxes there.


Wolf remembered that one day after she saw the mother duck move her egg, an owl had moved into one of the boxes. But she didn’t realize that the owl and egg have been living in the same box until two very unlikely friends poked their heads out of the nesting box together.

“I had seen something fuzzy disappear from the hole of this particular box, around 4 p.m. that day, so I not only thought we had a baby owlet but also kept an eye on the box for the next two hours, when suddenly the owl and duckling appeared together in the doorway,” Wolf said.

She believes that the owl must have known that the lone egg needed someone to care for, so she cared for it and eventually hatched it herself. She is still keeping the duckling with her company until the little one could find his way back to his family.


The pair seemed incredibly comfortable together. It was so sweet to look at.

Wood duckling usually leaves their nest 24 hours after they hatch. They do it when they heard their parents calling them. Wolf watched over the next 30 minutes at the nesting box. The duckling chirped all the while until finally, his worried parents heard his cries. They assume it heard them because it suddenly jumped from the box and made a beeline for their back fence, and their neighbour’s yard where there is a pond with the wood ducks roaming around.

The duckling and the owl parted ways at that point as the little one ran off to be reunited with his family. But he will never forget who cared for him safer and warmer!


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