Sunday, July 7, 2013

Missing Duck: Distributing Flyers!

Now she had spent almost 28 days and nights in the woodland. She had made nests at several spots. Every time that we had called for her, she had answered, but then – one late afternoon – we couldn't find her. We screamed and yelled – but she didn't answer our call. We spent several hours looking for her.
Because we couldn't hear her call we went deeper into the swampy woodland.
On our rubber boots we slogged through the brooks – we were really desperate. We were afraid that the worst thing had happened.
The sun was almost down when we went back home, both having tears in our eyes and hoping that we could find her the next morning.
We couldn't sleep well that night. 
In the very early morning we went back to look for her, but – again we couldn't find her. 
Oh I felt so desperate!
Had we lost her … what could we do to find her back?
We wanted to do anything to find her. We had to undertake something.
Therefore - my hubby printed flyers with the following message:

 “If you have seen a white duck with a crest in your neighborhood, please call phone n° .........   Good reward for the finder”.
One hour later we had already distributed them.
We stayed home, waiting for a phone call until late afternoon, and in between we both went to the wood separately to look for her, but every time without success.
The sun was already setting when we both went back that evening – we had to find her. Again we started to shout while we went deeper and deeper into the bunch when suddenly – it seemed as if we were dreaming – we heard her quacking at a spot very far away where we hadn't been before!
We went to the place where her call came from, and there we found her.
She had built a new nest there - and oh - she was so thrilled to see us, she “screamed” (yes she could scream) and we both got tears in our eyes from happiness.
You had to hear, how elated she was to see us there. As always, she covered the eggs very diligent with tiny twigs and grasses. After she'd done that task she inspected her nest and without we had to ask it, she followed us back home - full of joy - quacking very exuberant loud the whole way back.
(That was such a beautiful touching moment : I still remember this as if it happened yesterday! These beautiful sweet memories still brightens up my days)!
You can't image how happy I was that we had found her safe and sound.

The day after our neighbor told us that he could hear her the whole time. He was actually afraid that there was something wrong with her because she quacked this time so loud and so long!
Coming home you can imagine. We cuddled and hugged as if she had been away for ages.
Then we took a decision: from that moment on – we would close her pen!  We did not want the same would happen again.

This was really hard for her! She wanted to go back to her nest in the woodland. Oh she was so restless.
I tried to distract her attention from the woodland, so I went with her to look for good nesting places in our garden. I took twigs and reeds and arranged them as a nest and I encouraged her to help me with it.
It took her a few days to get at ease again, but from then on she made her nests in our garden and most of the time we did it together.
That year she laid about 94 eggs, and every time she had laid one (when I was home) she came calling for me. I had to see the result. It was beautiful to see how she had lined the nest with her fluffs. She had plucked them from of her chest to do this. We both covered the nest then carefully when she left it. Sometimes she also sat incubating the eggs the whole day long without eating. She really could become exhausted from it. We sometimes could “hear” when she was laying her egg because she sometimes had a problem with it. I really think she must have suffered then, at least that's how it sounded.

I'm only showing you this small film picture to let you hear how she sounded when she'd *egg-binding. It wasn't easy to find the correct translation for this *problem. In Dutch it's called: legnood. 
Maybe I better explain it as: “She had a problem to lay an egg”.

In a normal situation a duck lays about 10 eggs per nest, and if there are signs of life in them, then they start to brood on it. Pipke kept on laying eggs, because they weren't inseminated (obviously). She heard no life signs in her eggs – and this would become a very big problem for her in the future. 
About the future I will tell you later.

Then I will continue with: A bad Experience.

See you!


  1. Oh, I feel very sorry for Pipke, as she might have been disappointed in not being able to raise ducklings. Of course, there was nothing you could have done, either - you were not ducks!
    It is interesting that they sometimes have difficulty laying the eggs; just as humans sometimes have a hard time at giving birth. I hope it is not as painful for the ducks as it often is for the humans! :o

    1. "Eggbinding" is a common cause of death in birds.
      We have often wondered what would happen if we placed a "fertilized egg" (*of an other duck of course) in her nest Ter o fla. We didn't do that because there was the possibility that she would not accept the baby duckling because she saw us as her kind. Her own mother also didn't accept all the white offsprings. She shooed them away, she didn't protect them and unfortunatly the magpies picked them all. Not one survived!
      Thanks for reading and commenting!:)