Duck Egg on my deck
We have a pair of Mallards stop by and hang out in our pool for a few weeks every year. Our dogs are used to them and give the ducks a wide berth when they walk by the pool. I just noticed that in the last few hours, the hen laid an egg on the deck by our pool. The egg is in no way in a nest as you can see by the photo (the egg is the white thing next to the skimmer cover). The entire yard is surrounded by a six foot fence, so I guess the egg is better protected from predators than anywhere else it could be. Is there any way we could move the egg into a pile of straw or a box for additional protection? Thanks.
Clackamas County Oregon ducks
This isn't unusual for a young mallard to do as the nesting season begins. However, if not in her "nest" it is most likely not viable. She may however take up a nest in your backyard, in an area with softer soil and cover. If you find a nest you can put the egg in - but again it is most likely not viable at this point and she will kick it out. Dispose of the egg in the trash and be on the lookout for a nest. You may end up with ducklings in your pool if the pair continue to be welcome in your yard.
As an aside, if this pair is the same long term year after year returners - she may be in a stage where she is laying eggs, but past her prime reproductive years and will not "set" or have interest in "nesting."