When I checked the eggs in the East nest today most of them were pipped (slightly broken) which is something the ducklings do 24 to 48 hours before they hatch. They were all smooth and unbroken yesterday, so I expect they will hatch sometime tomorrow (Monday) or probably tomorrow night. If they hatch tomorrow during the day then they could jump from the nest box on Tuesday morning. I’d say it’s more likely they will hatch later, perhaps overnight, and jump day will then be Wednesday morning. But they do really like to mess with my predictions.
Whenever it occurs, I’ll have an outside camera online then, and maybe another one down by the creek too.
The West nest has been quiet lately after nine wood duck ducklings left on May 29th. The South nest’s ducklings, 9 woodies and 2 mergansers, jumped the next day on the 30th to follow their wood duck mother out and away. But since then the South nest has been visited daily by both a wood duck and a hooded merganser female. They have stayed only for about 3 minutes on each day and it’s not likely that they are serious about nesting there … but … maybe? We’ve had 2 rounds of nesting in other years.
A hooded merganser visited the South nest today at 8:20am. She looks much different vs. a wood duck: she has a long slender bill and no white on the face.