Camera update

The West nest duck is incubating 18 eggs. That’s down from 19 because I removed one that was undeveloped. I’ll start checking just before the earliest expected hatch date (June 23 +/- 3 days) and of course I will post a message when there is any change.

The South and East cameras are now offline until next year because ducks are not visiting these nest boxes now. The West camera is the only one that is active although as usual I will set up an Outside camera on jump day.

Unique behavior:
If you happened to check the East nest camera during recent weeks you may have seen the duck that was “incubating” there, but she was doing something we have never seen before. At first she acted just like she was laying eggs, settling into the nest for a couple of hours each day … but no eggs. Then she began to feather the nest and built up a thick blanket of down, and for about a week she stayed in the nest overnight and for most of each day too. That is very typical incubation behavior … but again, no eggs were in the nest.

One guess is that she lost her nest site due to human or other activity but all of the hormonal and instinctive behavior was still running and she played it out here. Whatever the reason, her instinct to make a nest and start incubation was very active for about two weeks even though she had no eggs at all. About a week ago she stopped and has not come back.

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