Ducklings in the East nest hatched this morning.
The camera recording showed that the mother was out of the nest with no ducklings hatched yet at 7:00 but I’ve now seen at least two. They will have all day today and also tonight to get ready so they should jump tomorrow (Saturday) morning.
- I’ll set up the outside camera today and it will be online by this evening, ready for tomorrow morning.
Note: the inside camera is usually showing gray-scale (as above) instead of color because the trees overhead are full of leaves and often there is not enough light in the nest box for color. The camera then uses its night-time lights which automatically switches it to black-and-white mode, because the infrared lights do not show color.
What to expect on Jump Day:
Out to breakfast: in the early morning the mother duck often leaves for 10 minutes or a half hour, to go out for a last breakfast without all of the kids.
Watching for danger: When she thinks it might be time to go she’ll jump up and sit in the nest box doorway and watch. She’ll sit there for 2 minutes … or 15, and after that she may decide not to go and settle into the nest again for while. Repeat. Sometimes repeat and repeat.
Time to leave: When she’s ready and thinks it’s safe, she’ll drop down below the nest box and call using a special and fairly soft pulsing sound. The ducklings respond by peeping loudly, jumping around kind of like popcorn, and climbing up to leap from the doorway.
On their way: From when she starts until the nest box is empty is only a few minutes. When the ducklings are all out (she keeps calling as long as she hears their loud peeping sounds) then she leads them away into the creek and they never return.