Mallard duck nesting in my yard

Asked April 21, 2015, 2:05 AM EDT

A duck has nested in my yard for the last 2 years and returned again this year. In the previous years, she has only produced 1 to 3 eggs and none of them have hatched. Is this because she was a juvenile duck or are we doing something that has disturbed her? She seems to stay near the nest more this year than ever. What should I expect this year (if they hatch, do they leave for another nest near water or stay awhile)? I have a curious 4 year old that would love to watch what happens next. Thank you!

Boulder County Colorado

1 Response

Mallard ducks nest from 23 to about 30 days. Once the ducklings are born they usually move to water within a day. They are safer in water than on land. Once the nest is left they don't come back to it. They also have from 1 to 13 eggs. The number of eggs can depend on many variables, it's hard to be sure why they have the number they do.

If you go near the nest the ducks may abandon the nest or be afraid to properly incubate the eggs. Wait at least 45 days before approaching the nest. If you approach while the eggs are being incubated they may be abandoned. It may take a duck 10-14 days to lay all her eggs. They will all hatch within a couple days. The female doesn't start incubating the eggs until they are all laid.

If you have more questions, get back in touch.

Good luck,