A Dump nests is when several hen Wood Ducks lay eggs in 1 nest. This is a fairly commom practice among Wood Ducks and Redhead ducks. This has been studied and still no answer as to why they do this. Sometimes as many as 50 eggs will be laid in one nest. Usually the hen that started laying first and therefore the one that starts incubating first will claim the nest and only she will incubate the eggs and take care of the babies.
The hatch rate in dump nests varies. When the number of eggs is more than 22 the hatch rate usually goes down instead of up. Dump nests also have greater odds of having a late hatch baby because some eggs are laid by other hens after incubation has started as was the case with Woodie Wood Duck’s nest.