Pacific Black Ducklings pay us a visit

A few weeks ago I wrote about a pair of Pacific Black Ducks mating in our swimming pool. We have been waiting expectantly ever since for the arrival of a little band of ducklings. They usually head for our swimming pool, and then can’t get out again.

This has happened every year now for about 6 or 7 years. It’s possibly the same pair each year. Despite thorough searches we have been unable to locate the actual nest on every occasion. One of the problems they face is once they get into the pool, they are unable to get out. Very soon they can die of either hypothermia or drown (because their feathers are not yet water repellent).

To cater for this problem we have made a wooden framed ramp covered with wire netting. We usually throw an old towel over the netting and it doesn’t take the ducklings long to find out that this is a way out of the water.

This year it was a little different. Mother duck headed off across our small paddock with four ducklings in tow. One poor little fellow missed the on ramp and swam under it, causing him to be separated from his siblings. Trevor came to the rescue. While my wife watched the family movements I managed to scoop up the lost baby and then run after the mother and the other ducklings carrying the almost abandoned duckling.  Soon they were reunited and on their way.

Not sure if they headed for the River Murray some 4 kilometres away, or stopped over at a storm water drainage dam about a kilometre over the paddock.

With all the excitement of the rescue attempt, I didn’t get a photo!


4 Responses to “Pacific Black Ducklings pay us a visit”

  1. Ken Rolph says:

    This is all very well, Trevor, but I think you are ignoring the major question of the season. If that partridge is a ground dwelling bird, what is it doing in a pear tree?

  2. Trevor says:

    Hey Ken – a very important question indeed. And I don’t know the answer, but we did have two turtledoves in a mallee tree today. Still, Christmas being well and truly over I guess it has no significance whatsoever.

  3. Trevor says:

    Hi folks, Pacific Black ducks frequent my property on a regular basis here in Brisbane. My attempts to encourage these birds to nest in my wood ducks boxes have failed.

    Are these birds solitary ground nesters?


  4. Trevor says:

    Hi there Trevor,

    Thanks for your comments and your question. Sorry about the delay in replying.

    Australian Wood Ducks usually nest in trees – usually in hollows high above the ground or water.

    Pacific Black Ducks normally nest on the ground, and only sometimes in a hollow of a tree or even in the former nest of another water bird.

    I think it might be wise to give up hope of them using your nesting boxes – but then, most birds never read the field guides and don’t know they aren’t supposed to use nesting boxes. One day they might just surprise you!!

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