Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Wood duck on the nest

Frog pond, nesting box in the background
And now we break from our regular programming! 
I will take a break from Vancouver photos and wedding videos, with news on the home front. Firstly, Phoebe has 5 eggs, they will hatch any day now.
Secondly, the Wood duck has eggs, too!

 Navigating through swarms of mosquitoes and several blackflies...

Here is shy poppa
It was a tricky endeavour, and not a great video, but I managed to video the Facetime screen and found evidence of a wood duck in the nesting box. She is staring up at the camera, which resembles a snake, in fact it is called a Snake Scope. It's great as it means I am not bothering her as a human. She snapped at the camera!

I couldn't figure out why she was sideways during my first video attempt. The first video shows the trek down to the water's edge. Turns out there is an up and a down for this Chinese camera.

wood duck from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
Snake Scope, attached to my computer.
We DO have wood ducks in the nesting box. I wasn't sure. I saw her go in the other day, and Daddy was sitting on the pond. Taking my handy new Endoscope webcam (Not to be used internally!), and managing to make it work on Facetime, I took a video of the camera taking the video. They don't make software for this product for Macs.

Yesterday morning, rising at the crack of dawn (still on Vancouver time?), I decided to take another crack at it...

After more searching I found the right driver: Mac Store's Quicky.  Here she is on the nest.

Wood duck on nest from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
Here is a better video of the frog pond, the wood duck nesting box and the duck on her nest. You can see 3 eggs at the edge of the Momma. There must be more eggs underneath her! Typically, they lay about a dozen eggs, according to the Wood duck society. Also, the female lays one egg per day, then goes to feed. I saw her return a few days after we returned from our trip, May 24.

The day after, she was incubating them, this takes from 28 - 32 days. The entire hatching takes about 24 hours, after which time she leads them out of the nest to forage on the wetland.
June 2, 2013 - an early spring duckling.
I spotted a wee wood duck 
in our meadow last year.
Mommy, running towards the wetland,
had left it behind. 
The 90-day survival rate is about 30 - 40%.

I shall anticipate a hatching about June 20.

They break out within 24 hours of the hatch, jumping out of the box between 7 and 9 a.m., and need quiet for that!

Egg dumping
Nesting cavities are scarce. This poses a problem. Other females will enter another nest and deposit her eggs. One nest held 29 eggs, according to the Wood duck society.

 According to Cornell U:
Egg-dumping, or "intraspecific brood parasitism" is common in Wood Ducks—females visit other Wood Duck cavities, lay eggs in them, and leave them to be raised by the other female. 


DeniseinVA said...

Lovely videos and photos. I didn't know those kind of camera's could be sold commercially, I'd like to look into that.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Just beautiful!

Debbie said... much interesting information!! and such a wonderful close up from 2013.

i am surrounded by babies right now, they are everywhere and i even have a new great niece!!

Debbie said... much interesting information!! and such a wonderful close up from 2013.

i am surrounded by babies right now, they are everywhere and i even have a new great niece!!

Hilary said...

Very cool.. I'm impressed with how you captured this. Though I wonder if the camera doesn't stress mom too much?

And "Not to be used internally!" I laughed out loud with that. Is it actually in the instructions or was that your PSA? ;)

eileeninmd said...

Great post! I love the wood duck and duckling shots.

William Kendall said...


Red said...

The web cams on telescoping poles give you a birds eye view!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
egg-dumping? Cuckoo-ing by another name! This was a fun post; you going all 'David Attenborough' on us!! WE have a program on here at the moment called Springwatch and it is doing exactly this sort of thing. Fabulous!!! YAM xx

Nancy J said...

Lovely, I went back to see your video with Sady and Oliver on the snow, down south our daughter has had snow there this week, and the cats there play in it ,I wonder how they feel as they sink into the white stuff!! Cheers, Jean.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I would love to see this duck -- have never seen a wood duck. Have seen their boxes often but just can't ever see the birds themselves. Drat.