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    A story of a 'duck-freak' from Rzeszów that set up her nest as high as 10 metres above the ground!

    A mallard duck in Rzeszów decided to build its nest in a hollow – more than 10 metres above the ground. When the chicks hatched, the mother called them from below to come down from the tree. Only one duckling decided to perform such a stunt. Fortunately, a team from the Department of Biology of the Institute of Biology and Biotechnology of the University of Rzeszów, the College of Natural Sciences of the University of Rzeszów and firefighters rushed to help.


    “Near the bush, by the little creek,

    Lived a duck a little bit freak.”


    The above interpreted part of stanza retrieved from a famous poem by Jan Brzechwa about “Kaczka dziwaczka” [ang. The duck-freak] could be a great introduction to the story of our eponymous duck. The unusual story was described on Facebook by the University of Rzeszów. As reported, a team of ornithologists from the Department of Biology of the Institute of Biology and Biotechnology monitored an unusually established mallard duck nest, which was located in a hollow more than 10 metres above the ground. This is unusual as mallard ducks usually nest on land or in nests built slightly above the surface of the water.


    “In the morning of Corpus Christi, hatched chicks looked out of the hollow but they obviously were afraid to leave it despite the intense calls of the female from under the tree. Only one chick decided to perform the stunt of jumping out of such a high hollow, which ended happily for it, as PhD Natalia Tanska and Iryna Medvedieva, M.Sc., seeing the hatched chicks in the hollow, draped pillows over the base of the tree to ensure the babies a safe landing,” they wrote.


    This was necessary because newly hatched duck chicks can swim well but are completely unable to fly. Unfortunately, the remaining chicks were too afraid to jump out of such a high hollow.


    After some time, the female duck took the only chick that joined her and went with it to the nearby Matysowka stream. “Then a team of ornithologists made an attempt to get the chicks out of the unlucky hollow, but the longest ladders available proved to be too short,” informed the university.


    It was decided to call in the fire brigade, who used a ladder to bring the remaining five chicks down safely.


    “As evening came and the mother of the ducklings could not be located, they were looked after by Natalia Tanska until the next day. The babies were fed and placed in a makeshift pool of tepid water, after which they spent the night in a cardboard box,” it was noted.


    As highlighted by the university’s employees, a successful search for the duck mother was underway from the morning of the following day, so that the rescued chicks could join her. “In the afternoon, the female was located and reunited with her ducklings, over which she immediately took care” It added.



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