This morning’s jump day had a ragged start followed by a long wait and then some drama for the last duckling.
- There was rain this morning and the camera’s wifi signals are weak when they have to go through lots of wet leaves. This caused the cameras to stutter and freeze and you also saw lots of “buffering” notices. Also something technical went wrong that I fixed by restarting cameras and the wifi router. Sorry for the interruptions. Fortunately the restart fixed the tech issue and the leaves dried out before anything interesting happened.
- The mother duck was very cautious about leaving. She spent many long minutes standing in the doorway looking and studying the area (she’s looking for predators that might harm her ducklings) then deciding not to go and dropping back into the nest for a while. Repeat. Repeat. I think she also gave her ducklings some extra time since they hatched kind of late in the day yesterday.
- When she finally called them they all left quickly except for the last one (there’s always one) who had more trouble than usual finding the door. It kept jumping up at bright places where the sun was reflecting on the wrong side of the nest box, over and over again. Meanwhile the duck family went downstream. Finally the last one got it right and went down to the creek, peeping loudly. The mother called it and led her family back upstream as the little duck paddled down between a couple of mallard ducks that eyed it suspiciously … and they found each other!
I followed the duck family for a few minutes with my regular camera – frequently they go up into the tall grass along the creek to rest and hide for a while and I can’t find them. But today I got some stills (as above) and some good video of the them in the creek … so … I guess I’ll have to make yet another jump day video. It takes a while to do that. I’ll post here when it’s done, of course.
There were four unhatched eggs. Nine wood duck and two hooded merganser ducklings followed their mother out into the world.