Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Wood duck is on the nest –and we have eggs!

duck box #1 with eggs,
Of course, you can't see them!

News bulletin #1

I think about ten eggs, I'm not sure. I took a quick peek to see if she was still laying down feathery down. Momma flew away, she was sitting on the pond with another female when I arrived. I am hopeful that the 2nd nesting box will have a clutch. I'll keep checking with the goose-neck camera.

Bulletin #2: I pulled the first tick of the season off of Daisy this morning. Here is how you do it. I'm back out to stack wood. I will be sure to check myself when I come in.

April 24, 2015

About 10 or so.
I screamed with delight and surprise!
It's a lovely vernal pond, which dries up some years. In the meantime, it hosts mating egg-laying frogs, turtles, 3 Muskrats (AFAIK), three male bullfrogs, tons of tadpoles, Mud puppies, toe biter beetles, and, of course, a billion mosquito larvae shortly.
frog pond - box #2 is left, (north side).

We were working around the pond to remove dead trees, as well as the tree top on the old Wood duck box. We've had Scott taking down some dead trees for us for two days, I was worried.

He felled a tree about 6' from the box. I was certain it was too early for her to be laying, but I was wrong.

The good news is she was there the next morning, sitting on the eggs. I went down to the meadow on the lawn tractor, to remove more of the wood, and she flew out of the nest like a bullet. She came back later. I was watching from up above, and she flew in and out. It was a lovely warm, summer-like day, those of us working outdoors had to peel off layers!

I read somewhere that they lay an egg a day. This isn't the case for this duck, this year.

There are about 10 eggs in a lovely nest of down. I'd been keeping track. They hang about in the water, then take off when I approach. I walked down the 27th, and there were two females on the water. Normally, the males are around. At another point in the day, I could hear this crazy noise. I peered over the edge (see the photo from the hill, below) and spotted a male Mallard, as well as a noisy male and female Wood duck pair. Does she make that noise when he's getting Twitterpated? Or was this the act itself? The phrase 'stuck pig' comes to mind.
The view from up above, up the hill.
The male Mallard is almost in the centre.
If you follow the tree up, centre left...

I've registered her at Bird Canada's Project nest watch!

I loathe the 24-hr. clock! The third reading should by 4:44 p.m., AKA 16:44. I changed it later. SIGH.
tracking chart 2015
box #2: I need to put flashing
on the tree.
Box #2 is left.
Box #1 is on the east, far side,
between the two trees

Life history information for the Wood Duck

Clutch sizeIncubation periodFledging period
6-15 eggs28-37 days56-70 days


William Kendall said...

That'll be quite a brood when the time comes!

Nancy J said...

You have been busy, eggs in a fluffy nest, and yes, a back hoe would be ideal for you, John Deere, with a scoop at the front, and extra attachments at the back, good big tyres, and I saw one with a canopy on top, perfect for when out in the snow!!! A bit more pricey than a quad, maybe the next 5 or so birthdays all in one.

eileeninmd said...

It will be cool to see the baby wood ducks.. Great post. Enjoy your day!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

You are so lucky to have a wood duck nest with all those eggs .... I have never seen seen a wood duck; I really hope I do some day.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Oohhhh eggies.... hope they all crack good &*> YAM xx

Red said...

Wood ducks are very interesting critters to watch. I've seen film of the little guys leaving the nest. Yes, watch out for the ticks.

Gill - That British Woman said...

I love all the soft down in there for the eggs!

Powell River Books said...

That's really exciting, and getting pictures inside is a huge plus. - Margy

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

Red, I have a scope, much like the ones doctors use, but 'not to be used internally!'
I took photos last year!

William: last year I had 10 eggs, but only 5 ducklings were viable. It's an interesting ratio.