In Japan, spring is at its best part with cherry trees in full blossom.
But cherry blossom is not the only sign of spring. Let's see what's going on with ducks that the Garden keeps in the Courtyard Pond.....
The Mallard Ducks started laying eggs!
Before having more look at them, we'd like to make a brief introduction about courtship and breeding of Mallard Ducks.
Wild Mallard Ducks visit Japan in winter and live in rivers and lakes, and they show courting behaviour from October to March. In the Courtyard Pond, you can see the male ducks chasing females and a couple swimming together in good harmony.
They build a saucer-shaped nest among the waterside bush, and they lay several blue-green eggs.
The eggs hatch in about 28 days. Baby birds can swim very shortly after their hatch as soon as their feathers dry up. In about a couple of month they grow up as big as adults, and they are able to fly.
Back to talking about the Courtyard Pond, we installed some roosts in the island within the Pond.
You can see some dead leaves, downs and feathers that the ducks collected,
and a couple of eggs.
However, some ducks seem to dislike to lay egg in the roost and locate a nest on their own.
Anyway, ducks have been constructing their nests and laying eggs in the Courtyard from March on. The Garden might be able to show some baby birds to visitors by late April.
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