Mergansers out and away

  • The West nest will have another round of wood ducks! See below.

The merganser ducklings really made us wait this morning, but after a couple of false alarms where the hen just went out for some breakfast (well, two breakfasts) and a couple of loooong look-arounds that ended with the hen saying “eh, not yet I guess” and going back in, the eleven ducklings finally jumped.

Usually I never see them again but after the ducklings went downstream I did that too for about a half mile and did not find them. But then on the way back there they were about a quarter mile downstream from the nest box! They are so good at hiding. I got a few pictures such as the one above and some video. A near future project is to create a video composite of all three jump days that have happened in the past weeks. When it’s done it will be posted here, of course.

West nest
I was surprised to find so many eggs in there today: 9 of them. Also there is down mixed into the wood shavings which means the hen is getting ready to incubate. About a month from now there will be more wood duck ducklings to watch.

This is the camera setup for this morning outside of the South nest. The black object on the right is the outside camera. It’s covered by a shroud of dark plastic film so the ducks cannot see it and get scared when it swivels around. (The trees around here are beautiful with flowers.)

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