Houdini the duckling stunned its owner after he hatched from a cracked shell despite being dropped - 30ft to the ground by a greedy bird.
The young duck - nicknamed Houdini - survived despite the incredible fall after the predatory seagull grabbed the egg from its nest.
Farmer Barrie Tolley, 57, watched as the gull swooped down and flew off with the egg in its beak.
Seconds later the large white egg plunged 30ft into a field where Barrie found it badly damaged and covered in cracks.
Lucky to be alive ... Houdini the duckling stunned its owner after he hatched from a cracked shell despite being dropped 30ft to the ground by a greedy seagull
He assumed the Indian Runner duckling would die but he placed it in an incubator and the next day it began to gradually hatch.
The bird fought its way out over five hours and in a rare phenomenon it came though the side of the egg rather than the top.
Barrie, who runs the Rare Breeds Farm in Totnes, Devon, took a series of photographs to show the cracks growing larger and tiny feathers emerging.
Fluffy Houdini survived his ordeal and is now ten days old and has rejoined his mother and four siblings.
Farmer Barrie Tolley took this series of photos showing how the tiny duckling fought its way out of the badly cracked and damaged egg over five hours
Barrie said: 'It was a really incredible sight and we were all transfixed for hours watching. We thought he was very unlikely to have survived such a long fall, as ducklings are delicate at that stage.
'Seeing the egg fall from the seagull was terrible, but Houdini is clearly a lucky little thing. Had he been dropped from 10ft higher or had hit one of the concrete slabs, it would have been a different story.
'We've had problems with seagulls recently. They come in and swoop down on eggs and fly away. I saw this one take the duck egg and ran after it but I was too late.
'The gull must have got scared because it dropped the egg and it just bounced on the paddock grass. It was covered in cracks so I thought it might not make it at all. Still, I wanted to give it a chance so I put it in the incubator.'
The greedy seagull swooped down and flew off with the egg in its beak. Seconds later the egg plunged 30ft into a field where Barrie found it badly damaged and covered in cracks
Barrie, who runs the farm with wife Jacqueline, 55, said: 'It's very unusual for a duckling to hatch out of the side of the egg . Normally they hatch out of the top.
'I guess that's where the cracks were, so it made it easier for the duck.'
Totnes Rare Breeds Farm houses over 250 unusual species of pigs, sheep, goats, owls, horses, chickens and ducks.
Little Houdini, an Indian runner duckling, looks like he doesn't have a care in the world after his near fatal ordeal and happily poses for a picture
The great egg-scape: Lucky duckling, Houdini, hatched from a cracked egg dropped 30ft to the ground by a greedy seagull | Mail Online