How to make wood duck boxes nests, hope chest plans - For Begninners

Categories: Wood Wine Rack Plans | Author: admin 27.03.2015

Wood duck populations decreased during the late 19th and early 20th centuries as wetlands were drained and forests were cleared, especially old growth riparian forests containing many mature trees with nesting cavities. Wood ducks readily adapt to man-made nest boxes where natural cavities may be limited or lacking. Do not build or erect a wood duck nest box unless it will be protected from predators and placed in or adjacent to a suitable permanent water site. It is best to erect nest boxes in the shallow, permanent water of a marsh or pond having a good mix of open water and emergent plant cover.
Space nest box units such that it will be difficult to see one nest box from another either using distance or concealing vegetation.
Start with a few boxes initially and increase as local populations grow remembering not to over-saturate. Rough sawn, cypress, pine or cedar lumbers are good choices as a nest box building material.
Boxes should be placed so that the bottom of the box is at least 4 feet above the high water mark. No box should be mounted without a predator guard or without the intention of maintenance and monitoring. If multiple boxes are used on a property, livestock ear tags can be purchased from many farm supply stores and used to number the boxes. You can download and print the information on the Construction of Wood Duck Boxes which is in the Adobe PDF file format. Once thought to be nearly extinct, the beautiful wood duck has made a remarkable comeback, in part because of boxes that replace a decreasing supply of natural cavaties. Place boxes on posts in water 6 to 8 feet above the surface or in woodland habitat within a half mile of lakes, ponds, marshes or rivers.
John James Audubon did some of his most famous bird drawings as he explored on foot along the Natchez Trace, which happens to be located near Star, Mississippi, where we design and make all our Heartwood homes.

Season after season, this delightful nesting box is a joy to behold and a breeze to maintain thanks to easy twist latch and slide-front panel that also inverts for winter roosting. Wood duck is the only wild duck species that frequently nests in southern Oklahoma and northern Texas. Since the late 1940s, people have intensively studied wood ducks looking for ways to help increase their populations. Unfortunately, breeding wood duck populations appear to be declining in several portions of Oklahoma and Texas.
Placing nest boxes in subpar habitat probably harms wood ducks more than it benefits them, even when they successfully hatch broods. Bald cypress wood or three-quarter-inch exterior plywood probably are the best choices for nest box materials. Construction of nest boxes and erection of nest box units can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for anyone interested in a hands-on waterfowl conservation project.
Hens lead duckings to water soon after they hatch, so there should be no obstacles such as highways or fine mesh fences. While birding has come a long way since Audubon's time, today with our four-season nesting boxes and basic homes, you don't need to go to anywhere to enjoy all manner of wonderful bird life flocking to your door.
Nesting efforts by a few other duck species, such as hooded merganser and mallard, have been documented in this area, but are rare.
We have learned that wood ducks readily adapt to nest boxes (figure 2), which is surely advantageous because it takes 150-200 years to grow an old growth riparian forest. At least 85 percent of the riparian woodlands have been eliminated or degraded in these areas. An ideal wetland for raising wood ducks has flooded shrubs and trees, such as buttonbush and black willow, substantial herbaceous emergent and floating aquatic vegetation, open water, and at least 10 acres of surface area with most of the area less than three feet deep. Wood duck hatchlings climb to the nest entrance, jump out of the nest, and begin following the hen within the first 24 hours after hatching.

This practice encourages intraspecific competition for nest boxes and leads to dump nesting. The best time to erect nest boxes is prior to the start of the nesting season which can vary between December and March.
This will enable day-old ducklings to climb up and exit with the brood when the hen calls from the water below. Boxes on land should face the water and be at least 30 feet from the edge, since predation is highest at the water's edge. Thousands of wood duck nest boxes have been erected during the last 50 years and wetland protection and construction have expanded during the last 35 years. Wood ducks sometimes use nest boxes erected some distance from water, but then have to walk the ducklings to an appropriate wetland. Dump nesting, a product of density strife, is the result of more than 1 hen using a single box and laying at least 18 and up to 50 or more eggs.
All nest boxes should be checked each winter prior to the nesting season to replace nesting material, check the tightness of the predator guard and secure the lid and screen door latch. Wood duck breeding populations responded by increasing at an overall continental rate of 5.9 percent per year during 1966-1999.
It is best that such wetlands not have many bass larger than one pound because bass eat small ducklings. Remember, the wood duck is not a colonial nesting species, wood ducks evolved as solitary nesters in forested wetlands where natural cavities were widely dispersed.
Be certain each post is securely set so it will bear the nest box and jostling by an individual checking the boxes.

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