The routine is set: every morning, before it’s light, Wingman’s in the pond, waiting for his hens to descend. (I should call him Brigham because he has two wives.) Later on, when the sun is up (about 7:30), Dorothy flies down, and I may or may not give the pair food. I try to wait until Honey appears so I can feed everyone at once. She appears only about 11:30. I then feed everyone, and they get a second meal at about 3 pm. They are HUNGRY, though Wingman, as usual, doesn’t eat much. I’ve never seen hens eat so much, but of course they’re making eggs and need protein and calcium.
I don’t know why Honey waits so long to appear, unless she’s taking a longer time laying and arranging her nest. She is, after all, the perfect duck mom.
Today Honey laid her seventh egg, keeping up the pace of one per day. (I inspect the nest only when she’s in the pond so I don’t disturb her.) Below is a photo; it’s hard to focus through the screen, and you’ll have to take my word that there’s a pastel green egg where every arrow is. That’s because I stood up on my tiptoes to see and couldn’t photograph them, but be assured that there are seven eggs.
Honey has also started lining the nest with her breast feathers to make it soft to sit on and to keep the eggs warm. But warming won’t start until she sits tight after all her eggs are laid.
How many more eggs—and days—to come before she starts incubating the clutch? Probably about five. At that point it will be D – 28, where D stands for both “days” and “ducklings.”
Perhaps the eggs are arrayed around the edge of the nest so when she sits she doesn’t start incubating them. When she starts “sitting”, she’ll roll them under her body..
I can’t yet see Dorothy’s nest, so I’m not even sure she’s laid any eggs. But she’s sitting on something up there, and I’ll try to get into the room housing her window to see.