Brave Mother Duck Refused To Abandon Her Eggs During Hurricane
"She never left her nest — not once. We were totally amazed!"
Hurricane Irma's destructive forces were no match for Irma the duck's devotion to her unhatched babies.
As the deadly weather system bore down on Florida earlier this month, Plant City resident Joy Anne Trent was thinking about more than just her own family's well-being. Weeks beforehand, one of several Muscovy ducks living nearby had built a nest beneath a tree in her front yard and was dutifully incubating 13 eggs.
"We were so frazzled getting our house ready for the hurricane," Trent told The Dodo. "Initially, the reports had it traveling up the East Coast and late in the game we found out the eye would be passing right over our town. We agonized about what to do with Irma. Do we move the eggs into the house? Try to catch her and put her in the house? Would she reject the eggs or panic? We were a mess."
In a hurry to prepare themselves, Trent and her family had no choice but to let nature take its course. And indeed, Irma was a powerful storm — though Irma the duck turned out to be an even more powerful mom.
Trent and her family were hunkered down indoors when the storm hit, and they assumed that the mother duck would leave to find a safer spot for herself, too. But as the torrential rains and gusting winds struck with full force, Irma the duck held steadfast for the sake of her offspring.
"She never left her nest — not once," Trent said. "We were totally amazed!"
The storm finally passed, and thankfully Irma the duck had survived.
"When we went to her in the morning after the hurricane and saw her buried in branches and Spanish moss," Trent said, "our first reaction was just to get the stuff off of her and see if she was alright."
Amazingly, despite losing some fluff to her feathers, the mother duck was in good health. And because of her unwavering commitment to them, all 13 of her eggs had made it through unscathed. With the weather now clear, Irma took the opportunity to stretch her weary legs.
The duck's friends, who'd evidently found safe refuge, even dropped by to check on her.
Trent is now eagerly awaiting the moment when all those little eggs begin to hatch, having seen firsthand the love that made it possible.
"Here's to Irma, super duck, who sat through a Category 2-3 hurricane, protecting her eggs, and said 'Not today Hurricane Irma, not on my watch!'" Trent wrote in a Facebook post that has since gone viral. "Looking forward to having 13 Muscovy ducklings soon, pooping all over our driveway."