Laurie Wolf, an amateur photographer from Florida was in her backyard when spotted something really unlikely. And what it seemed to be an owl chick proved a duckling in the end. “Oh, we have an owl chick. This is wonderful!,” she reacted, but this were a little different.
Earlier that month, Laurie and her husband have placed some birdhouses around their backyard in Jupiter, Florida. She also spotted a duck while moving her eggs from a nest to another. But little did she know back then, why she’s doing that. Only to find out this unlikely pair sharing the same nesting box.
“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.”
But the woman was concerned about the little duck’s safety, so she tried to reach out an expert. In the end, Laurie decided it’s better for the cute duckling to be moved to a local shelter, for her own safety.
Turned out that was unnecessary as the owl acted like the unusual chick was one of her own. It’s when the woman realized these two share a more special relationship that she would have ever thought. “I don’t think I’ll ever experience anything like that in my life again,” she said.
Laurie and her husband saw the duckling spring out of the box a few days later. This is very normal given that the wood ducklings will be leaving the nest in less than 24 hours. “We presume it heard them,” the lady said. “It leaped out of the box and ran straight for our back fence and our neighbor’s yard where there’s a pond and the adult wood ducks have been seen by us.”
However, what’s even more fascinating is 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 added that’s pretty usual for a wood duck to spread her eggs in someone else’s nest.
“You may compare it to not putting all of your eggs in one basket. Your likelihood of passing on your genes is marginally boosted if you spread your eggs elsewhere, especially if you lose your own eggs to a predator, the expert added. “We are aware that this happens, but we have no idea how frequently. I was thus pleased to observe another instance of this.