Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Duck Nest Boxes 2011 #3

Around 10:00 AM on Sunday July 10 I was at Maxwell Lake watching a bufflehead duckling perched at the entrance to one of the nest boxes. The hen was flying back and forth and calling to the duckling. She was able to cling to the nest box entrance with her feet without going inside. The duckling eventually lost it's nerve and went back inside and the hen went inside too after some more calling. Thrilling to see for sure! I waited for half an hour hoping they would try again but no luck. And I didn't have my camera with me.

Even better, there's now a Barrow's goldeneye brood on the lake - I think. For sure there was a female goldeneye and 5 ducklings but they were all over the place and back and forth where the bufflehead nest was hatching, so I can't yet be 100% sure those ducklings belong to the goldeneye hen or if they belonged to the bufflehead hen. I'm not good at telling them apart by species at the duckling stage! I'll go check again to make sure. But overall the good news is this is the first year we've had cavity-nesting duck broods on Maxwell Lake. I think there may be still a few more nests to come.