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Tiny orange bugs in the garden pond …

My dad found these bugs in our pond and I have been trying to find out what they are. They are a pale orange and an oblong shape. I’ve looked at one under a microscope and it appears as if it has two large claws in the front and then four small legs (two on each side).  They are  they are about the size of the tip of a pen. They stay under the water, and it appears as if they burrow down inside the mud at the bottom.  They can move very fast for their size. I doubt that’s enough information to come up with what they are, but if you could somehow give me a lead as to what they could possibly that would be great.

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How will the ducklings get down?

mallard in basket on balconyWe live in a town house on Lake Erie, in Buffalo, NY. There is a second floor deck and attached to the deck’s wrought iron railing is a flower box with a hay basket liner. On May 28 we discovered a mallard duck had made a nest in the flower box. She has laid eggs and has been sitting on the eggs since then. She leaves in the early evening, flying towards the lake, and returns to resume her place warming her eggs. We did some research and called our county wildlife association. We were informed to simply leave the nest alone. We read that the ducklings will not be able to fly for 60 days but can swim much sooner and that they will not stay in the nest beyond 24 hours.

Our problem is that this nest is about 5 meters (16 ft.) above the ground and a distance from the water and the nest is not very big.

Should we try to put a small child’s swimming pool below the nest in case the mother can get the ducklings down from the second floor nest? Should we try to get a small pool on the deck itself? We have not gone out on the deck when she is there and have not touched anything.

Any help you can give us is appreciated. The ducklings will probably hatch in a few days. Thank you, Virginia

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