We have a pair of Mallards stop by and hang out in our pool for a few weeks every year. Our dogs are used to them and give the ducks a wide berth when they walk by the pool. I just noticed that in the last few hours, the hen laid an egg on the deck by our pool. The egg is in no way in a nest as you can see by the photo (the egg is the white thing next to the skimmer cover). The entire yard is surrounded by a six foot fence, so I guess the egg is better protected from predators than anywhere else it could be. Is there any way we could move the egg into a pile of straw or a box for additional protection?
This isn't unusual for a young mallard to do as the nesting season begins. However, if not in her "nest" it is most likely not viable. She may however take up a nest in your backyard, in an area with softer soil and cover. If you find a nest you can put the egg in - but again it is most likely not viable at this point and she will kick it out. Dispose of the egg in the trash and be on the lookout for a nest. You may end up with ducklings in your pool if the pair continue to be welcome in your yard.