Wood Duck eggs hatching

(This post reflects a bit of the chronology of what was happening at the time)


FINAL NOTE: Within an hour of the previous note, after going back and forth between the entrance and sitting on the eggs in great indecision, the mother reluctantly left the nest, calling the ducklings to come. In 5 minutes, all had left, leaving the remaining 5 eggs, none of which seemed to have any pips. Within 30 minutes, those who maintain the boxes came and cleaned it out, leaving it with fresh sawdust (I missed seeing it happen because I was away from the computer and my son had muted the audio). So it ends. I am glad to not have to look at the remaining 5 eggs.


9:46 Eastern Time, USA, Small, sad drama playing out!

  • Five eggs left
  • some of the chicks have been out for almost 24 hours,
  • all 14 are very restless and cramped and probably getting very warm,
  • and some are actually making small efforts to leave the box without her.

She is obviously torn between

  • Her remaining babies in the eggs who don’t seem to have started breaking the shells, yet but must need that extra time
  • the danger to her young who are trying to get out should they try to leave alone,
  • her own need to go out, but knowing they will all follow, then she CAN’T  go back to the remaining eggs, and those babies inside will die.

She keeps trying to keep everyone calm and relaxed as she waits for the last eggs.


Open the second link and put both in separate windows, minimize and put side by side because when they go out you will see it happen.


This is a live “box” cam of a wood duck and her 19 eggs. They are beginning to hatch NOW. This is the link:


Link to external cam of the same box – useful when mom is out or when the ducklings start to leave.




8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. simon682
    Apr 01, 2014 @ 13:11:54

    Blimey. I’ve got a meeting I now want to cancel. Will have to tune back in when I get back. I’ve never seen ducks hatch.


  2. Lloyd's of Rochester
    Apr 01, 2014 @ 14:46:59

    I thought she was eating the shells, but she seems to be mashing/breaking them up.


  3. Lloyd's of Rochester
    Apr 01, 2014 @ 18:04:02

    For anyone who hasn’t been able to watch, as of 6 pm EST in the US, it looks like about 13 of 19 out, but it’s hard to be sure, but I don’t think it will take those last 6 long to follow. They will probably leave the box tomorrow morning, early. About 12 hours from now?


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