Wood duck Nesting Box #1
|Male Wood duck|
Males don't hang around!
Last year I traipsed down at 3 p.m., just as they were scurrying across the pond. I was blessed! This is the video from 2014.
We arrived home at 8:39 p.m. Thursday night after a 4:30 p.m. appointment, just like Gillian GPS predicted. I tore down to the frog pond to grab the SD Card, switch it out, and run back up, followed by a kazillion mosquitoes. I must say I owe a debt of gratitude to a woodpecker, as you will see in the video. It set the trigger off, and in the background I could see Momma duck flying. They were there, then, at 6:14 p.m. It had to be after that, or early this morning, that all 12 little ducklings climbed up and out.
The 90-day survival rate is about 30 - 40%.
Frog pond from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
I repeated the wood duck momma flying twice, as she is so quick. No wonder I'm not getting her on the Trailcam.
I ventured down, in housecoat and pajamas, this morning at 7:30. The nesting box is totally empty. Last year she only hatched 5 of 10 eggs. This year, 12/12! Gone. Nothing on the Trailcam... I so sad, in a way! For those of us who are teachers, it's like moving on to the next homeroom class. You will seldom know what happened to last years batch. So, in that tradition, we still have a duck on the nest!
Wood duck nesting box #2
|Wood duck egg - quite large!|
This one did not hatch
from the 2014 nest.
Momma is on this nest and I was sure she was going to eat my snake scope. (I call it the snake scope, but it is an endoscope. This gives hubby the heebee jeebies. Snake scope is better!)
She began laying feathers May 19th, which is the prep before the eggs. They sit on them 28 - 37 days. I was most excited. *TWO* hatchings this year! The boxes aren't cheap, made to specs from recycled barn board, but so rewarding to think that I am helping these birds. With all the predators around, it's good to give them a place to nest and have a good start.
I don't know whether to keep the trailcam on her box, or put it out in the meadow to see if I can spot any newborn deer! The Robins are onto brood #2! Everything is sprouting. Our newest granddaughter is doing well out in Vancouver, as well! Our 5 and 7-year-old granddaughters will visit us next week for the week. Much fun is anticipated!
Nesting box #2 2015 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
Momma duck #2 is in confinement! She went after the snake scope, protecting her eggs. Good girl. It's a dog-eat-dog world! I think there are about 7 -10 eggs.
So hard to tell how many eggs are here!