Pacific Black Ducks breeding

Pacific Black Duck

Pacific Black Duck

It is with some embarrassment that I post this article. For several reasons.

The first is that during the cooler months of the year we have two and sometimes three Pacific Black Ducks visit our garden, specifically to take a dip in our swimming pool – or should I call that Le Swamp? (I’m not very good at maintaining it.) On several occasions we have had to rescue about a dozen little ducklings that have followed their mother into the pool, only to find that they cannot get out again and head off down to the river a few kilometres away.¬† We love seeing the ducks up so close, but I do feel embarrassed about the state of the “pool”.

Late last week I was sitting on the back veranda enjoying the lovely spring sunshine and reading a good book. It could have even been The Good Book. The ducks flew in and skidded on the surface of the pool water before settling down for a spot of sun as well.

After about ten minutes they both entered the water and began  excitedly circling each other, constantly dipping their beaks into the water. Now comes embarrassing admission #2. I actually witnessed them in a moment of passionate embrace! The male mounted the female, grabbing her neck feathers in his beak and holding her head just out of the water. Her body was totally submerged.

This wonderful moment was followed by ten minutes of excited flapping, splashing, ducking under the water and general preening as the couple celebrated their union.

I wonder if we’ll have a raft of ducklings in the pool in a few weeks time?

Pacific Black Ducklings, Bordertown, South Australia

Pacific Black Ducklings, Bordertown, South Australia

 

11 Responses to “Pacific Black Ducks breeding”

  1. […] steps. She took quite and interest in the little ramp we installed a few weeks ago to allow some Pacific Black Ducklings to get out of the water before they drowned. (Yes – baby ducklings can drown due to hypothermia and […]

  2. […] 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 […]

  3. […] Pacific Black Ducks breeding […]

  4. Sean B says:

    My wife and I noticed recently two Pacific Black Ducks enjoying themselves in our backyard swimming pool in Sth Western Sydney.They have stayed for some time now and are comfortably settling in to the backyard and pool.
    Yesterday we see now in our pool,not only the two mature ducks but 11 ducklings happily cruising our pool,leaving tiny wakes behind them as the dash through the water.
    I am in two minds whether to call wires or whether to just let them be,but I need to dose the pool up for spring / summer swimming season and the likelyhood of the cute guys leaving soon is highly unlikely.
    Oh well,if nothing else the kids love them and happy kids = happy days. : ))

  5. Trevor says:

    Hi Sean,

    They are beautiful, aren’t they? And to think they chose your pool to introduce the family to the fine art of swimming.

    Alas, we haven’t had “our” ducks visit at all this year, apart from several flyovers. Last summer I finally cleaned the pool until it sparkled, and then bought a solar blanket for it, so they can’t get access to the water.

    Never fear, there is a dam less than a kilometre away. I’m sure they’ve found that.

  6. […] Pacific Black Ducks and Grey Teal are probably the most common and well known ducks found in Australia. They are very common in parks, on lakes, rivers and reservoirs and can even be found in private gardens. More than once we’ve had ducklings in our swimming pool. […]

  7. Jay says:

    HELP PLEASE!! I have 2 ducks in my pool and just found out there are 9 eggs in the bush? How do i move them on safely ? i am constantly cleaning the pool, just with the 2 adults…i simply cant have 11 of them in my pool. Any suggestions?

    • Trevor says:

      Hi Jay – sorry about the delay in replying.

      Have you solved the problem? Perhaps the adult birds have taken the ducklings off to a larger body of water – that’s what always happened to those who visited our pool. In our case they would head off down the road to the River Murray about 3 km away. More recently they would head to a recently constructed storm water dam which always has some water in it.

      If they are still in the pool, try to get them out and then herd them as best you can towards the nearest body of water – a lake, river, creek, dam. The parents should follow the young. If left too long in the pool the ducklings can easily die of hypothermia.

  8. sandra.Jefferie says:

    Hi . I live on the gold coast on the water and have raised many baby ducks with mother in our pool very expensive to do as the pool have to be emptied after and sanitised then fill buy we do it every year as they come back and breed beside the pool each year they stay in the pool until they fly and I have raised many orphaned baby black ducks I have 5 at the moment great to see them fly out of our yard onto the lake, its a passion of mind to save every one I can

  9. Rita says:

    Hi,
    Ducks have just recently laid eggs by our pool and the ducks are swimming in our pool each morning.
    Will we have to empty our pool once they leave?

    • Trevor says:

      Hi Rita,

      The ducks certainly make a mess of both the pool and the surrounding pavers and lawn.

      I would not recommend swimming in the pool afterwards – it wouldn’t look attractive anyway. It is possible to filter out the worst of the mess, and vacuum the rest from the pool bottom, but to be on the safe side emptying the pool and starting with fresh water is certainly the safest option, albeit rather expensive with rising water costs. (It would cost me about $120 to refill our pool on current prices – plus the cost of chemicals to get it balanced again.)

      As much as I like the ducks visiting, I have solved the problem by having a solar blanket on it, so they can’t get to the water. The blanket warms the water making it more pleasant in the cooler months, saves on chemicals and reduces evaporation.

      I would also recommend that you chat to your local pool specialist as they will be able to advise you on the correct procedures to follow.

      Hope this helps.

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