We waited a couple of hours after the Whistling Duck's encounter with the gator to make sure they were safely out of the area before going out to check on the box. There were 3 unhatched eggs, and one appeared that it was just beginning to hatch. A second had movement when I put it down, and I could hear loud peeping from one of them (no doubt what brought in the gators a couple of days before the babies jumped). The 3rd egg was silent, but it smelled very fresh like the other two, and I immediately packed them safely and drove them to St. Francis Wildlife Association - home of the best rehabers anywhere. They put the eggs in an incubator and I said "goodbye" to them.
On Tuesday I learned that one had hatched the night before, and on Wednesday, a second one hatched. This was really good news since a lone baby duck rarely makes it. I drove up Thursday and shot some video of the 1- and 3-day old ducklings. I couldn't believe their new home! The staff had set up an aquarium with walls lined with boards painted to look like a swamp, and they had a feather duster that the ducklings felt very safe under, even if it did tickle their noses. A mirror had been placed with the first one when he was alone, and it remained along with a sock, a stuffed animal that looked so much like them that they must have thought it was mom. The had a little bowl of water and bugs, and even a bowl of duckweed. There were eating a little, but still needed to be fed at this point to get the nutrition they need. If they can make it until they can fly, around 60 days old, they will be released here and will hopefully get to know their siblings and parents.
CHECK OUT THE SIZE OF THOSE FEET!!!!!