Wood Ducks Find a Tree Cavity

Ellen Kenny | May 11, 2016

A hen checks out a nesting cavity. Ellen Kenny photos.



Last Sunday I watched this pair of wood ducks for about 45 minutes at the Forest Society's Merrimack River Outdoor Education and Conservation Area in Concord. They were in the maples by the back stream. They roosted in about three different places, before the hen vanished into a high maple tree cavity at the stream’s edge for about five minutes. 

Prior to her disappearance which I had the good fortune to watch (a very ungainly, flapping as she vanished into the hole). She kept shifting from foot to foot and peering down into the hole. 

The drake was a few feet away and below, and was as still as she was restless.  I wonder if she deposited an egg?  If that’s where she’s nesting, it’s a long drop to the ground.  It would be amazing to see the chicks tumble down from that height.   

Wood duck drake, by Ellen Kenny.

When she reappeared from the cavity, they both took off toward the marsh. 

The picture that I would have loved to have gotten but missed was of a grey squirrel, hanging upside down from the underside of the limb right beneath where the ducks were both sitting when I first spotted them.