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Predicting the Unpredictable

What a hot dry spring.  Imagine sitting on a nest for 35 straight days with such conditions.  Both breeding pairs were taxed to the max, and each produced only four eggs, versus the usual 7 to 9 eggs.

Susie's came first, three all-white (Polish Mutes).  Once was culled quickly, a second was a "runt" (a first for me) that I expected its demise, and the third seemed fine.  The runt had a leg that was not fully-developed, but it hung in there and the parents gave it time to develop and grow. 

Wendy had an unusual event where a golf ball rolled very near the nest and the owner wisely left it be.  So either her or Stan rolled the ball into the nest alongside the eggs.  Great photo!

Wendy hatched three eggs and immediately left the nest.  One day she had one cygnet, the next day three, the next day one.  Stan and Wendy seemed to be having difficulty deciding where and how to raise this brood.  But things came together and the parents did their usual good job.​

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