[mou] [mnbird] Birding about the Metro

Steve Weston sweston2 at comcast.net
Wed Apr 23 09:56:05 CDT 2008

cavity nesters are well-known for dropping eggs in nests with other bird 
eggs.  I regularly see both wood ducks and hooded mergansers visiting the 
same boxes.  The wood duck eggs are usually ovid (egg shaped),  while the 
merganser eggs are rounder.  They are also slightly different colored, but I 
am not sure how reliable that is for differentiating them.   I try to 
minimize my handling of the eggs, so I do little more than count the eggs 
and determine if both are present.

If you realize  that a hen lays one egg a day,   you see that often multiple 
hens are using the boxes.  While some boxes are major dump zones, nearby 
boxes will be ignored.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Paul A. Lender" <lender at umn.edu>
To: "Steve Weston" <sweston2 at comcast.net>; "MNBird" 
<mnbird at lists.mnbird.net>
Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2008 8:54 AM
Subject: Re: [mnbird] Birding about the Metro

> Hi Steve
> I just want to be clear:  the Hooded Mergansers are laying eggs in active 
> Wood Duck nests?  Is this known to be a common occurrence?  Do the Woodies 
> actually raise the young Hoodies?
> -- Paul
> Steve Weston wrote:
>> On Sunday domestic duties kept me at home.  I did check my wood duck 
>> houses. One I cleaned out and took down for rehab.  The squirrels tore it 
>> up pretty bad.  One has juvenile Gray Squirrels and one is presumed to 
>> still have squirrels.  The other two had 13 and 17 eggs.
> *** Although it
>> appeared that most were Wood Duck, each had at least one or two Hooded 
>> Merganser eggs. ***
>> Company arrived and we all sat down to dinner, when two Barred Owls flew 
>> in just outside the windows.  The closest must have sat there for about 
>> twenty minutes.
>> Today I stopped at Purgatory Creek lake in Eden Prairie.  I found two 
>> Common Terns, at least ten Bonapartes Gulls, and Rough-winged Swallows, 
>> which were also found in Anoka County.   In Andover I saw my first 
>> butterfly, a Mourning Cloak, which hibernates over the winter as an 
>> adult.
>> I heard Chorus Frogs and Spring Peepers in Coon Rapids.
>> Steve Weston on Quiggley Lake in Eagan, MN
>> sweston2 at comcast.net
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> -- 
> ========================================
> Paul A. Lender
> University of Minnesota Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
> 2512 South 7th Street, Suite 200
> Minneapolis  MN  55454
> Voice: (612) 273-8053
> FAX: (612) 273-7959
> e-mail: lender at umn.edu
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