Owl Raises Duck Eggs Believing They Are Her Own

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Owl Raises Duck Eggs Believing They Are Her Own

Laurie Wolf is a wildlife artist and amateur photographer, who recently discovered an Eastern shriek owl and a little duckling in her backyard in Jupiter, Florida. She took a photo of the duo and sent it to the National Geographic.


Wolf first saw the owl that had taken up living arrangement inside a home box in Wolf's patio. A month later, Wolf noticed a cushioned thing in the crate with the owl, so she figured that it was an infant owl that was settling with its mom.


The owl had decided to raise the duckling as its own. It was a wood duck – known to live with shriek owls.


Laurie, however, was worried about the owl's intentions and feared it might eat the duckling.


So Wolf contacted a local bird expert to ask if her concerns were valid, and they confirmed that there was a possibility. Then she contacted a wildlife sanctuary to see whether they could take the duckling, and they agreed.


Nevertheless, when Laurie and her husband went to the backyard to capture it, the little duck hopped out of the box, then headed to a pond. And that was the last they saw of it.


Christian Artuso, the director of Bird Studies Canada in Manitoba, explained that wood duck birds practice "brood parasitism."


Apparently, the phenomenon is quite common as wood duck birds aren't fond of laying all their eggs in one place. They'll often lay them in other bird's nests, hoping that some will hatch and that the genes will enter the next generation.


Artuso says it is impossible to know what a wild owl is thinking, yet that it could be what scientists call supernormal stimuli. He adds that female owls react with their mother's instinct to nurture the egg instead of wondering where it came from.

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Thinking Humanity: Owl Raises Duck Eggs Believing They Are Her Own
Owl Raises Duck Eggs Believing They Are Her Own
Laurie Wolf is a wildlife artist and amateur photographer, who recently discovered an Eastern shriek owl and a little duckling in her backyard in Jupiter, Florida. She took a photo of the duo and sent it to the National Geographic.
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