Hatch Tuesday, Jump Wednesday?

Two nests hatching and jumping at the same time!? Probably.

When I checked the merganser nest (South) this morning one of the 12 eggs was pipped. This afternoon when the West wood duck went out for supper I checked her nest and two of her 17 eggs were pipped.

(You might recall that she had 18 eggs, but one of them was undeveloped so I removed it. Seventeen of the eggs were entirely opaque and dark when I candled them with a flashlight a week ago, whereas the undeveloped one was translucent. Here is a post from last year that shows what that looks like.)

The term “pipped” refers to the tiny break in the egg shell created by the ducklings to let in some air. It’s part of their development. They do that 24 to 48 hours before they hatch so my best guess is they will hatch sometime on Tuesday. If it happens early on Tuesday – before dawn and completed by mid-morning – then they’ll be ready to jump on Wednesday morning, but if they hatch late on Tuesday (i.e. into Tuesday afternoon, evening and overnight) then they will stay in the nest through Wednesday night and Thursday morning will be the day they leave.

A pipped egg.

New cameras page:

Have you checked out the new camera page yet? I think it is a very significant improvement. It’s great to be able to see all of the nests on one screen, and to be able to quickly focus in on any one of them that has something interesting going on. It also has a side-by-side view which should be very useful on jump day, when I have a camera set up outside of the nest box to with the one inside.

The new cameras page is linked from the birdsgv.com home page, of course. Check it out!

Here’s a screen shot of the page that shows all four nests. The hooded merganser
in the South nest was out for food when this screen shot was taken – there are 12 eggs under that blanket made of down mixed with wood shavings.

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