Some of the ducklings in the East nest have now hatched but there are also intact eggs visible so some are still on the way. They will jump from the nest box tomorrow morning. I have 3 cameras set up: nest box, outside on a nearby tree looking down at the box this time instead of up from below, and one camera down by the creek where they will enter the water. They cameras are live now at birdsgv.com.
Below I’ve repeated the “what to expect” information that I’ve posted before.
My brother sent a screen shot of this strange invader that got into the nest box yesterday. (I’ll contact the Addam’s family to see if perhaps someThing got away from them.)
What to expect:
In the morning the mother duck will typically leave the ducklings and go off alone to get some breakfast for a half hour or hour. When she returns they usually all settle in for a while. The ducklings alternate between lots of practice jumping and climbing activity, and resting. When the duck decides it might be time to go she will jump up into the doorway and stay there for a long time, typically many minutes. She’s watching for anything that might harm the ducklings. Usually the first time she will decide it’s not quite right and drop back into the nest box to rest again. Once in a while she will go after the first look-around, but typically she will repeat this several times … while we wait.
But at some point she will decide it’s time to go. The earliest this has occurred here is 7:00 AM CDT, the latest was 2:00 PM, and typically it’s around 8:00 or 9:00. She’ll drop down below the nest box and start a special pulsing call that activates the ducklings. They peep loudly and jump and climb up to the door, and jump out. She keeps calling as long as she still hears peeping from the nest. Finally she’ll lead her ducklings down to the water and they swim off. They never return to the nest; they stay there for only their first night.
A duck does not feed her ducklings; she takes them to where food can be found and they feed themselves. She shelters them at night hiding in tall grass or brush near the water. She will stay with her ducklings for about 2 months.