We're tickled that a Mallard has chosen to nest in our backyard this spring. She is just about to the end of her laying as the clutch is at 11 so we expect her to cover the nest soon. The nest is within our pool area under an American Beauty Berry plant and unfortunately close to a series of frequently traveled steps.
There's a barn cat that likes to frequent our yard and we are concerned for the ducklings safety once they hatch. I've considered building a barricade with some 60" tall wire mesh but don't want to interfere with the inevitable procession of momma and ducklings when she decides to move them to more a suitable place.
Do we need to worry about this or will the momma fend off the cat? Any advice is appreciated.
_________________ I don't know about you, but I hold my breath when I walk anywhere near the pesticide asile at Home Depot!
We have a couple of bird folks who post regularly, so perhaps they will offer ideas about the duck and the cat. In the meantime, I would be concerned about that cat - do you have a long range squirt gun or a toy of some sort that you can deploy if you see the cat coming into the area? I'd be tempted to chase off the cat for the time-being, whether a wire enclosure is set up or not. Is the duck conspicuous when she's on the nest? Usually they find a spot out of sight and sit very quietly.
We've had them nest in my neighbor's Mexican Feather grass, but the predators around here are coyotes coming through the area at night. I think the ducks were safe the whole time.
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