As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Taking him under her wing: Owl raises a duckling after mistaking the bird's eggs for its own

A Florida photographer captured an unusual image of an owl and a duckling side-by-side looking out from a bird box
Initially, Laurie Wolf thought it was an owl hatchling but it was a duckling 
Wood ducks are brood parasites and don't like to lay their eggs all in one nest in the hope that at least some will hatch
PUBLISHED: 23:44, 17 April 2019 | UPDATED: 05:26, 18 April 2019
Did you hear the one about the owl and a duckling that lived together?
It might sound as though it has come straight from the pages of a story book but the bizarre real-life partnership has been captured by a photographer from Florida in their own back yard.
Laurie Wolf, from Jupiter, initially thought an eastern screech owl that lived in a nearby tree had chicks of her own, known as owl hatchlings.
Upon closer examination it became clear that the cute yellow bird peeking out next to their nest mate was in fact a little duckling - which the owl was raising as its own. 
'The two of them were just sitting there side by side,' said Wolf to National Geographic, 'It's not believable. It's not believable to me to this day.'   
Initially, Wolf was concerned that the predatory owl might end up eating the wood duck chick and even contacted a bird expert who confirmed her fears. 
A local wildlife sanctuary agreed to care for the baby bird if she could catch it, but just as she and her husband attempted to capture it, it jumped out of the box and scuttled over towards a nearby pond. She hasn't seen the duckling since. 

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