This Owl Raised A Duckling As Its Own After Mistaking The Bird’s Eggs For Its Own

- in My World
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own and duckPhotograph by Laurie Wolf

Animals are amazing, hilarious, and intelligent creatures, and sometimes, they can outsmart even humans. They can be very loving and caring, and the following case will prove this fact.

A wildlife artist and amateur photographer Laurie Wolf found an owl and a duckling in her home in Florida. The owl was taking care of the little duckling. She was like a mother to it. Laurie was fascinated by the situation, and she took a picture of them and sent it to National Geographic.

According to Laurie’s story, she first noticed the Eastern shriek owl that was taking up living arrangements inside the nest. After a month, Laurie saw a cushioned thing in the crate with the owl. Then she realized that there was a baby owl inside.

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

own and duck
Photographer Laurie Wolf captured this image of a duckling sharing a nest with an owl in her backyard in Jupiter, Florida

Yet, she was a little worried because of the thought that the owl might eat the duckling.

Laurie called a bird expert to ask if these fears might be right, and she got the answer that there was a possibility. Then she informed the wildlife sanctuary about the case, and they agreed to take the duckling.

Laurie, together with her husband, went to the back yard to capture the creature, but it managed to escape.

I don’t think I’ll ever experience anything like that in my life again.

According to the Manitoba director of Bird Studies Canada, Christian Artuso, the wood duck birds practice “brood parasitism.”

They are not fond of laying their eggs in one nest. They often leave their eggs in other bird’s nest places in the hope that some will hatch and genes will be transferred in the next generation.

Artuso recalled a past situation in 2007. An owl incubated three wood duck chicks.

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.

We realize this happens, however, we truly don’t have the foggiest idea about the recurrence. So I was glad to see another case of this.

~ continued Artuso.

We can’t tell what a bird thinks, but the female owls are lead by supernormal stimuli. They react with an instinct to nurture the egg instead of asking where it came from.

Artuso believes that the duckling may have survived because there are many cases of chicks from one brood joining up chicks from some other family.

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