Story Behind Burdr’s Twitter Picture
Many of you have asked about the Burdr Twitter icon photo. Who’s in it? What kind of duck? When was it taken? Well, here’s the story!
A few years ago, my mother and stepfather saw a fisher sneaking into one of their wood duck houses. They witnessed it making off with some eggs. Robert, my stepfather, scared the fisher off. He discovered that the fisher had killed the mother and started taking eggs. Without their mother, the babies would never survive. With this in mind, Robert took the rest of the eggs to the house. He had to act quickly because the incubation process is very sensitive. He went to the local store, bought an incubator, and placed the remaining eggs in it.
Over the next couple weeks, they kept a very close eye on the eggs. They turned the eggs twice a day in the incubator. By the end of the third week, they saw some movement. This meant they had to stop turning the eggs. The little babies inside were positioning themselves to break free. Soon the baby ducks started to crack their way through the shells. They have a special tip on their beak that they use to break the shell. It takes each duck a couple hours to hatch. It took just about 2 days for all the little ducks to emerge. The babies were moved to a small container under a heat lamp until they were completely dry.
Then my mother moved the baby wood ducks into a container that Robert built. They were fed fresh pond water and a starter meal. By week two, the ducks graduated to meal worms and mashed up hard boiled eggs including the shells. This provided valuable protein and calcium. They were also big enough to be moved outside during the day and back in at dusk.
By week three, my mother started to get them acquainted to their future home by feeding them pond weed and crab grass. She also made sure the pond water she kept in a dish for them included some water bugs. The ducks loved it.
By week five, the ducks were ready for their new home. My mother and Robert took them down to a large pond behind their house. After saying goodbye, they opened the container and watched the wood ducks swim away.
I think the little wood ducks will be forever thankful for all the hard work, time and effort that went into making sure they returned to the wild!