Just because momma Muscovy duck makes a nest and produces eggs doesn't alway mean new life appears. This page has two different nests with disappearing eggs. (Photos were taken between late April and early June 2015.)
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This is some of the landscaping in the Sam's Club parking lot. On the opposite side of one of the middle bushes in this section is where one Muscovy duck decided to nest.
The nearest water is approximately 200 yards away on one side of the parking lot. Usually ducks nest much closer to water.
[Within a paved parking lot are several areas surrounded by curbs that contain landscaping. The one with the nest has four bushes neatly trimmed and a palm tree trunk visible on each end.]

Here's momma tucked under the bushes.
[A much closer view of the duck tucked under one of the bushes. Her head is barely visible, but her white and black body feathers are not under the bush and thus visible. There are three eggs visible on the near side of the duck.]

A closer view of the three eggs visible in the prior image show that at least one will not hatch.
The center egg is losing fluid on the right side and has what looks to be a crack on the left side.
(Photo taken on May 13th.)
[Three eggs are in the sunlight amid the landscaping and downy feathers of the nesting area. The one nearest the camear has clear bubbles of liquid coming from the right side. There is a dark spot with lines coming from it on the left front of that same egg.]

While I used the zoom so as not to get too close, the Muscovy momma pulled back as I got near.
This image was taken several weeks ealier (April 22) when she still had all the eggs under her.
[A close view of the lower half of the duck and the depression under her which has at least 7 eggs. There is quite a bit of down feathers around and in the nest.]

She had all the eggs except this one under her on April 22.
The nearest water is not even visible from the nest which gives predatory creatures time to snatch eggs while Momma gets something to eat and drink. Or perhaps people were messing with her given the way she moved when I got near.
[One egg sits on the leaves and bark (landscaping bedding). The egg looks as if something pecked open a hole that is most of one side of the egg. There is some brown stringy stuff along the outside and partly inside. The egg looks as if it had been mostly liquid inside and now that is gone.]

I saw the above duck on that nest continuously through early September. She moved from being under the left bush in the image to tucking herself under the right one. To be in that spot in Florida in summer means she was practically roasting herself alive. I don't know if she just was determined not to give up on having young ones this season or she was just hiding from the male Muscovy ducks.

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This is a different female Muscovy duck who is sitting on her nest at the top of the hillside leading down to the stormwater drainage channels.
(June 22nd)
[A close view of the duck with a black body and a white head and neck. She has a red patch surrounding her eye which is framed by the branches of vegetation in between her and the camera. She sits amid the stalks of vegetation which are very green and taller than her.]

This is a view of the nest a couple weeks earlier (June 5th). Not sure where Mom was, but an egg is visible amid the downy feathers on the near side of the tall vegetation.
At the water's edge is an egg which I presume had been in the nest at one time.
[A view looking down the hillside. The nest has tall vegetation between it and the water. There is much shorter vegetation in other areas of the hillside. One white egg sitting near the water's edge is visible through the tops of the vegation.]

A closer view of the egg near the water reveals several others which are no longer in the nest. They are situation in a spot which indicates they probably rolled down the hill.
[A view of the base of thehillside. Three eggs are lined up in ground cover at the water's edge. A fourth egg about a foot and a half away from the line sits at the water's edge.]

A view of the eggs from the opposite hillside. The downy white feathers in the upper vegetation are the nest. Possibly these were 'dud' eggs and Momma pushed them out of the nest.
[The nest appears to be about five feet from the water's edge. The three eggs lined up are in line with the nest above it while the one egg closest to the water is off to the right side of the nest by about nine inches.]

This is a view the next day (June 6th). Momma is on the nest in this image, but the weeds hide her.
It appears some more eggs went down the hillside in the past 24 hours.
[View of the same area as the prior photo, but this time there are five eggs in a cluster where there had only been three the prior day. There is no egg visible at the water's edge.]

Another day later (June 7th) the five eggs are scattered along the dirt at the water's edge. One egg is on the far right side of this image while the other four are on the left.
Momma's black feathers are visible as she sits on the nest.
[A wider view of the same images so as to include all the eggs now sitting in the wet dirt at the water's edge. The one egg on the right is about 8-10 feet from the next nearest egg. The remaining four are within about a four foot section.]

The people who did the landscaping maintenance in this area left the vegetation around the nest alone, but I never saw this momma with ducklings. The landscapers who worked in the Sam's Club parking lot were also careful not to disturb the other momma Muscovy. They put new mulch down around all the trees and bushes, but put it around her nest and not in it.

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Continue to page 3 to see ducklings.

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