Friday, April 24, 2015

Woodcock Eggs

I’ve been making daily checks on the nesting Woodcock I posted about last week.  I don’t get close.  There are two large cedars about 35 feet from the nest that make a good hide.  A gap between the two trees is just wide enough for me to use my camera to zoom in on the nest and check the bird.  She has been facing a different direction on each visit, but she sticks tight to the nest.

Wednesday afternoon I saw this.  No woodcock in sight.

I moved in on the position and spotted four eggs.  The uncovered eggs are much easier to see than the sitting bird.

These birds don’t really make much of a nest.  Some of the material at hand seems to be rearranged a bit to make a depression deep enough to keep the eggs clustered together. 

The eggs were still slightly warm to the touch, so I was fairly confident that the Woodcock hadn’t been gone long from the nest and was probably close by hunting for worms.  The nearby area along the small tributary displays many holes left by feeding Woodcock.  I didn’t want to disrupt her return to the nest, so I left the area as soon as I captured a couple of images.

She was comfortably back on the nest the next day.  I’ll keep checking in hopes of viewing the newly hatched chicks.  The female leads the chicks off as soon they have all hatched and dried.  I’ll have to be extremely lucky to show up at just the right time for a sighting.  At least I should be able to find some broken egg shells.

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