Woman spots duck laying 13 eggs before hurricane, returns back to check on them after
'Irma' the duck wouldn't let Hurricane Irma kill her ducklings!
D.G. Sciortino

It’s astounding how humans and animals alike have the fierce instinct to protect their young at all costs. A good parent will never abandon their children, even when danger abounds.

That’s why Irma’s a great mom.

Irma is a Muscovy duck that lives in Plant City, Florida, currently at the base of a tree in Joy Anne Trent’s yard. Trent was so fascinated with the duck’s determination to protect her young during Hurricane Irma that she posted about it on social media.

“This is ‘Irma’, she is one of the Muscovy ducks that hangs out in the ponds in front of, and behind our house in Plant City, Florida,” Trent said. “About a month ago she laid 13 eggs at the base of the Live Oak tree in the front yard. She usually gets on and off the nest multiple times a day to eat and drink.”

Irma Duck
Irma Duck

The happy looking duck’s routine was interrupted by the hurricane which may have threatened her young if she left them unattended.

“When I got up this past Sunday morning Irma was on her nest,” Trent posted. “The weather was already turning nasty with high winds and rain. Towards evening as the hurricane was heading towards us, we had torrential rains and wind gusts up to 107 mph!”

Despite the scary weather, Irma refused to leave her children.

“Irma hunkered down and never left her nest,” explains Trent. “We could watch her from our bathroom window as we were lucky and never lost power. When the eye of the hurricane was over our house we went out to check on her and she was still sitting tight. After the eye passed the wind and rain kicked up again and we finally went to sleep around 2:00 a.m.”

Though she had been roughed up by the storm, Irma was still standing guard over her young when Trent and her family awoke.

“When we woke up Monday morning, there was Irma, still sitting on her nest, covered in broken tree branches and Spanish moss, but alive and unharmed, all 13 eggs still intact,” Trent recalled.

Trent decided to bring Irma some food and water since she hadn’t been able to leave her nest to get some for herself.

“Monday was still very windy and Irma had yet to leave her nest so we brought her food and water which she readily accepted,” Trent said. “Today, Tuesday, she finally got up from her nest, stretched her legs and took a quick dip in the pond before heading back to her eggs. So, 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!’ Looking forward to having 13 Muscovy ducklings soon, pooping all over our driveway.”

Trent expects Irma’s babies to be born sometime next week.

“Muscovy ducks have a 35 day incubation period. This period does not start until mama Duck is fully laying on the eggs,” Trent said. “It took Irma a week to lay the eggs and that was a month ago to our best knowledge. So, we are thinking it should be next week. Irma did all she could do to protect those eggs, so let’s pray for 13 healthy little babies.”

You can follow the upcoming birth of the babies on Irma’s new Facebook page here.

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By D.G. Sciortino
D.G. is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at