Wildlife photographer Laurie Wolf recently spotted this cute duo in Jupiter, Florida, and snapped a few photos.
Initially, Laurie thought the owl was looking after her babies, but upon closer inspection she discovered that it was actually a baby duckling.
Telling this story, she said: “They were just sitting next to each other. It’s not believable. I can’t even believe it.”
When she saw this pastoral picture, Laurie didn’t immediately remember that an owl is a predator – and can eat a duckling. But she later contacted a bird expert who told her she was right. A local wildlife refuge offered to take care of the duckling if Laurie could catch it. But just as the photographer and her husband were trying to capture the bird, she calmly jumped out of the hollow and headed for the nearest pond. She says she hasn’t seen the duckling since.
She added: “I don’t think I’ll ever experience something like that again in my life.”
“We believe the duckling heard the other ducks because it suddenly left the hollow and headed toward our neighbor’s pond, where the ducks hang out. We also saw a female duck, about three or four weeks ago, fly away with her egg. We lost her in the trees and didn’t want to disturb her. But we believe she put the egg in this hollow where the owl lived.”
Although it’s rare, duck birds do lay eggs in other birds’ nests. Bird Studies Canada director Christian Artuso believes the duckling will survive, explaining that wild ducks are able to survive in a variety of circumstances.
So that’s a good thing, isn’t it?