The east nest hen left for a while at about 4:00 today and we went out to check the eggs. Six of the nine are pipped (slightly broken in one place) and they are hatching. One already has a tiny piece of eggshell missing. The hen has been “talking” to the ducklings all day, and they talk back … from inside their eggs! They pip the eggshell to let air come in and they actually start to breath and chirp while still inside.
I held the egg with the tiny missing piece up against the microphone on my cell phone and turned on its audio recorder. It not only captured the sound of the little duck pecking away inside, but also recorded a chirp. Here’s the recording:
This egg is pipped. The duckling inside has tapped the shell with its “egg tooth”, a temporary sharp point at the tip of its little bill. After staying like this for a day or so, it again starts to peck as it very slowly twists its body around by pushing against inside of the egg with wings and feet, until it is cracked all of the way around and the shell breaks open.