Wood duck MMA

As of this evening there were 9 eggs in the west nest. Still none in the east although ducks do go in there for a few minutes every morning. This happened last year too, except the other way around when they didn’t use the west nest box until later. I think maybe they’re attracted to where the activity is, and once that starts it keeps itself going.

We’ve seen 4 ducks in the nests recently. One of them has a mostly dark bill and is very chatty, always clucking and chirping. Another has pretty much claimed the west nest as her own: she’s in there all morning. She has a slight lighter color at the end of her bill. And then there’s Arabelle who is unmistakable with her arrow shape on her bill, and one other duck, seen rarely, that also has a multi-colored bill but not as distinctively shaped as Arabelle’s.

Arabelle dumped an egg in the west nest yesterday while the other duck was in there. This was preceded by the most energetic and drawn-out battle that I’ve seen, as the one in the nest tried to get Arabelle to leave. After more than five minutes of tussling (during which nobody was hurt) Arabelle finally popped out an egg and got out of there. The resident duck dutifully tucked it in with the others. I made a video of all the action.

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