How does the wood duck illustrate ATTENTIVENESS?
A pair of wood ducks work together in building their nest and preparing it for their young. When the nest is complete, the mother wood duck lays one egg each day for twelve to fifteen days. Amazingly, the egg that was laid on the fifteenth day hatches on the same day as the egg that was laid on the first day!
How does ATTENTIVENESS allow baby wood ducks to hatch on the same day?
All the eggs hatch on the same day because the mother and father wood ducks begin “talking” to their young while they are still in the eggs. In this way the young ducklings learn to be attentive to the voices of their parents. As the day approaches for hatching, the mother wood duck begins giving instructions to the unhatched wood ducklings. Before long, a chorus of “peeps” and “kucks” comes from the eggs, as the ducklings respond to their parents and to one another. These “conversations” between adult wood ducks and their young bond them together and help to synchronize the hatching process so all the ducklings break out of their shells within minutes of one another!
How ATTENNTIVENESS saves a wood duck’s life
When the ducklings are less than twenty-four hours old, their mother flies to the base of the nesting tree and calls up to her ducklings to leave the nest. This instruction could mean a jump of up to fifty feet for the ducklings. Ducklings that were attentive to their mother’s voice before hatching scramble up the side of the nest and jump. Usually all the ducklings (called a clutch) jump out of the nest in less than five minutes. This quick response is necessary because hungry predators also hear the mother’s call and will come to devour the mother and her ducklings if they do not find safety in a nearby pond. In the pond the ducklings continue to be protected by being attentive to their mother’s warnings. When they hear a warning, they must remain motionless until the danger is passed.