Saturday, 28 April 2018

Ducks are busy!

Saturday's Critters #228
We've been living here beside the swamp since fall, 2010. It took me a couple of years to buy cameras, and install the first, second, and then third wood duck boxes. Last year we had 12 eggs hatch in one box. I count the eggs, record the data, the number of live ducklings, and watch for hatch day.

 Every year, I watch for the frog pond to thaw. Once that happens, the ducks move in. Prior to this, I clean out the nesting boxes. This includes removing old shells. They hatch, and take off within 24 hours.

On the trailcam, I spotted 3 male wood ducks, one of them guarding his female. Also, it appears to be a hooded merganser and a female with him. This is the first time ever! The mergansers nest in cavities, as well. I don't have high hopes, but we shall see!

The photos aren't great. It is a record of our events! It's been a momentous capture on the trailcam, with the date (which was a day off), the time (off by 10 min.), and the temperature.

I am unable to manage a good photo of the ducks, as they are (wisely) quite wary. We have coyotes, barred owls, that can take a duck, and many species who will eat the eggs (raccoons, fishers, snakes). This is my only excellent photo of the male, from a park in Vancouver!
Mama wood duck, May, 2017 
Male and female wood ducks

female hooded merganser, Bala, 2008
Wood duck, Vancouver, 2015

We have mallards on the pond, as well.
They do not nest here.


eileeninmd said...

Hello, wonderful photos of the wood ducks. I love the Mergansers and pretty Mallards too. The trailcam photos are neat. Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your post. Also, thanks for the comment and visit. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

Betty Crow said...

That's a great idea putting a camera in the box. I want a trailcam to put outside on our light pole. There are lots of critters that come up to our yard in the night. One for the pond would be good, too. Love seeing what your cameras show. Happy Saturday!

RedPat said...

It is great to sees such a variety of ducks!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
I love that you record all these small events and happenings... the texture and colour of other lives. YAM xx

Nancy J said...

Still cold, and this will be exciting to see what eventuates. Little ducklings, chickens, and all birdies are so beautiful, the extra fluffy feathers add so much character to them.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

This is just wonderful Jenn! You are truly a citizen scientist recording all that data and what wonderful pictures.

William Kendall said...

I've only seen a wood duck once in town. That doesn't mean they're not here, of course.

Victoria said...

Great idea to have a critter camera. I love all the photos of the ducks!

Christine said...

Lovely photos, spring is well underway!

Powell River Books said...

That is so cool about having the wood duck nest in your boxes. We had a sad day. We had to remove our tree swallow nests from the shed on shore. It has to be removed this summer and we didn't want to disturb any broods. We've enjoyed watching them for about 15 years. There is one nesting box left on my float garden. A pair is already staking claim. - Margy

Anvilcloud said...

Shocked by hatching and moving on within 24 hours. I mean I know they paddle around in ponds following parents afterward, but that is still quick.

Red said...

The life cycle begins and they're busy.