Female-Australian-Wood-Duck-with-Two-Ducklings
A female Australian Wood Duck with two ducklings.

Duckling Story 3 may be a continuation of Duckling Story 2 – it is a bit difficult to interpret these events.   An hour or two after the seven ducklings disappeared into the long grass, we saw a female duck with two ducklings grazing in that green spot all of the ducks seem to love.  We thought ‘Woo hoo! We have another brood of ducklings to watch.”   Then, without any visible sign of danger, the female duck flew away, leaving the two ducklings to fend for themselves.

Running for the long grass, and calling out in distress, the two ducklings headed in the same direction I had seen the adult ducks steer the seven ducklings earlier that day.  They seemed to know where to run, but we could hear the distress calls long after we lost sight of the ducklings. Eventually we saw two adults with two ducklings on the far side of the dam – too far away to photograph with the lens I have.

Distressed-ducklings-running-for-cover
Left to fend for themselves, two ducklings run for the cover of the long grass.

 

So – how to interpret this.  Perhaps two ducklings wandered away from their five siblings, or perhaps the family of seven were dispersed by a predator, or perhaps it was a third brood of ducklings.  Whatever the case, from that day to this we have not seen any more ducklings. The adult ducks still walk up to the house to graze each day, so I am sure if there were ducklings, they would be there too.

Maybe next year we can again watch a brood of ducklings grow up. How wonderful that would be.