Why this owl raised a duckling as its own

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While walking in her backyard, the Florida based amateur photographer. Laurie Wolf has spotted something really unusual. However, at first sight she thought there was an owl chick. “Oh, we have an owl chick. This is wonderful!,” she reacted.

Earlier that month, Laurie and her husband have placed some birdhouses around their backyard in Jupiter, Florida. She also spotted a duck while moving one oh her eggs from a nest to another. However, at that time she didn’t understand the reason.

But only to find out these two unusual friends living in the same 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,” Laurie told the Dodo.

“The two of them were just sitting there side by side. It’s not believable. It’s not believable to me to this day,”she said.

But the woman was concerned regarding the baby duck safety, so she tried to reach out an expert and then tried to catch the little on as the local sanctuary she called agreed to take care of the duckling. But that was unnecessary because the owl and the duck seemed to share a more special relationship that Laurie ever thought. “I don’t think I’ll ever experience anything like that in my life again.”

 

 

And while observing this unusual, yet incredible pair, Laurie and her husband have seen the duckling jumping out of the box. An absolutely natural thing, since the wood ducklings are leaving the nest in less then 24 hours after the hatch.

 

“We assume it heard them because it suddenly jumped from the box and made a beeline for our back fence and our neighbor’s yard where there’s a pond and the adult wood ducks have been seen by us” the woman said.

It turned out that the owl actually incubated the duck egg just as it was her own. “It’s not commonly documented, but it certainly happens,”  Christian Artuso, the Manitoba director of Bird Studies Canada, said.

He also said that it is pretty usual for a wood duck to spread her eggs in someone else’s nest.

“You could think of it as not keeping all your eggs in one basket. If you spread your eggs out, then your chances of passing on your genes are increased slightly, especially if you lose your own eggs to a predator,” the expert said.

“We know this occurs, but we really don’t know the frequency. So I was happy to see another example of this,”he added.