Wood Duck Family update

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dwatsonbb
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Wood Duck Family update

I posted a wood duck family 14/11/2012, tonight I found them in our pond - about 500 metres from the dam where the first photos were. They seem to be moving around our property and next door as well. This gives them 3 different water sources. I have also spotted them "mid paddock", but did not have camera. Amazingly, they still have all 11 chicks. The parents, especially dad are very protective, and shield chicks well away from me.

First photo is repeat from 14/11, the others are tonight.

Araminta
Araminta's picture

Thanks for the update, I was waiting for it. How wonderful, what great parents they are, they must be very experienced. Hope they will all survive. Do you know where they sleep at night? Do you have foxes?

Lovely photos, and a beautiful dam.

M-L

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

Thanks ML, no we don't have foxes near here, there are supposed to be a few in Tassie (introduced several years ago), and our government is spending heaps to eradicate what, if any, there are. Only predators are hawks and eagles, but to date the Masked Lapwings seem to have them under control. Don't know where they sleep, have found possibly three sites, but am keen to let them be and not to displace by seeming over keen.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Woko
Woko's picture

I like your style, Dale.

The wood ducks in my area are of a similar bent: they wander around the paddocks & local dams.

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

Update - Mr & Mrs Wood Duck and their family are thriving. We still have 11 little ones, who now look about 1/2 adult size.
But wait there is more, tonight I found a new wood duck family, and they have 8 little ones. They look just a couple of weeks old.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Araminta
Araminta's picture

I wish I could be therecrying, I love baby ducks. Good luck, and thanks for the update.Next year you will have how many? If they all find a "friend" and have eleven each,........I need a calculater, .....lots of duckswink

M-L

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

Update - can't get close enough any more for photos, but yesterday saw the whole family in flight, yes all 11 of the first family have survived, have not seen the second family for several weeks, probably moved next door again. Today while weeding around our pond (Mrs Dale says it is not a dam because it is landscaped!) saw 2 nests on the water Lillys, most likely the Wood Duck Nests. Can post photos of nest if anyone is interested, not much to see, just woven grass floating on the water Lillys. Also near by was a nest which I believe belongs to the Tasmanian Native Hens (posted earlier as well). They are now on their fourth brood this season. Thanks.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Araminta
Araminta's picture

That is just wonderful Dale, thanks so much for the good news.I'm with Mrs Dale on the Pond, it is more like a beautiful lake.I'd love to see the nest, but only if it's not too much trouble. Thanks again for the update.

Were you anywhere near the fires? If so, I know how it feels, I was very close to some of the big ones 3 years ago, and even closer in1983, when we lived in Cockatoo, when the whole town burned down, the fire came to our neighbour's house, burnt the shed, then the wind changed, and the rest is history, as they say.

Stay safe, here it's going to be hot again tomorrow.

M-L

darinnightowl
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Hi Dale Nice story, if you read up on Wood Ducks . Nests are hollows in living trees. Could be another bird to follow , Good Luck.

See it!  Hear it!

Mid-North Coast NSW

Qyn
Qyn's picture

If you have photos, I'd still like to see the nests you have seen in the (landscaped) dam blush - no matter what bird built them.

Alison
~~~~~~
"the earth is not only for humans, but for all animals and living things."

Araminta
Araminta's picture

I always wondered about the nest, (I knew they build them in trees, but not that they build them in hollows.) I have seen mum and dad come out of the bush, dad always walks first, checking out if it's safe to walk across the paddock, then go back to get mum and the children. Every time there is a noise , they all stop and duck, until they make it to our pond. So cute, only to be eaten by the eagles the next day. We don't have them anymore, they learned the lesson, our place is not safe for ducks. But Dale's place sounds perfect.

M-L

dwatsonbb
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Attached some shots of "The Nests", while I agree with darinnightowl about the usual Wood Duck nest. I am at a loss to decide what else it could be. Possibly Tasmanian Native Hens, but they usually nest in the long grass, and have some cover (a hollow in the grass tufts), and the second nest I think is too far from shore. Any other ideas? At Huonville 40klm south of Hobart Tasmania.

Did see a white faced heron over a few days, but only one and no where near the pond (posted separately). Their nest is usually high up in trees, so doesn't fit here either.

Photos 1 & 2 show the nest closest to shore, 3 & 4 show the second nest about 2.5 metres from shore, water depth about 1 metre. Photo 5 shows the second nest from the opposite side of the pond, while photo 6 demonstrates the effect of high temperatures and wind on the water level. Has dropped about 300mm in 4 weeks or so.

Have also posted some eerie smokey type shot in "Social".

Thanks

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Araminta
Araminta's picture

Do you have Purple Swamphens Dale? No3,4,5 look like their nests to me. Coots and Grebe also build floating nests, they are a bit finer, and smaller.

M-L

dwatsonbb
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Purple Swamp Hens have not been seen here, have seen some about 10klm away, near the Huon River, have not seen any Coot or Grebe either.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Woko
Woko's picture

Keep your eyes open for Australasian grebes, Dale. I think that might the species making those nests. They spend a fair bit of time under water. Together with the lillies that could account for your not having sighted them. No guarantees, however.

Correa
Correa's picture

Very interesting article and story, thanks!

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