RECORD: Brent, B. P. 1861. Period of incubation of call-duck [query on behalf of Darwin]. The Field (16 March): 17.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed and edited by John van Wyhe 10.2022. RN1

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[page] 17 


PERIOD OF INCUBATION OF CALL-DUCK.Mr. C. Darwin is desirous of knowing the correct period of incubation in the call-duck, and if it differs from that of the common variety. I may add, that from careful observation I find the domestic duck's eggs hatch in twenty-six days, unless they have been allowed to cool, when it will sometimes be a day or two longer. Perhaps some of your readers may be able to state the exact time for hatching the eggs of call-ducks?—B. P. B.1

1 Darwin was gathering information for Variation chapter 8. A reply appeared in The Field (13 April 1861), p. 20: "TIME OF INCUBATION OF CALL DUCKS.—In answer to Mr Darwin's inquiry in THE FIELD, two weeks since, with regard to the time of incubation of the call duck, I find, that if the eggs have been carefully sat upon, twenty-seven days is the general time, and never more than twenty-eight days. I find the ducklings are very tender when young, and require a great deal of careful management till about four weeks old.—G. C. W." Bernard Philip Brent, (d. 1867). Bird fancier and author who often contributed to The Field and similar periodicals.

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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

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