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Wood Duck Houses

7/5/20 @ 4:36 PM
ORIGNAL POST
jimbo55will
User since 1/17/07

I put up 2 Wood Duck houses on a small Southeastern Wisconsin lake about 3 years ago. I've had Woodies use them every year, though one of the them always turned out to be a "dump" nest and no hen ever brooded the eggs. This year one box turned out to be a dump nest and the other one was actively brooded by the hen. She laid 14 eggs and just yesterday (July 4th) did the chicks hatch and leave the box. 7 hatched and 7 were infertile. I checked the box on the 3rd and the eggs were just starting to pip and I could hear the chicks in the egg, so I knew hatching would occur in the next 24 hours. She must have called them out very early on the 4th as I didn't see them jump. I have 2 observations and wonder if anyone else has any input. First of all, this is quite late for a brood hatching but I know Woodies are the only duck that will attempt 2 broods in a season, and secondly, how does the hen know when the last chick is out of the box. She doesn't return to the box to check. It's like intuition or something. Anyone with an opinion?

Jim

DISPLAYING 1 TO 8 OF 8 POSTS
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7/8/20 @ 11:55 AM
One shot one kill
MEMBER since 8/12/02

I remember when many were made from 5 gallon buckets .  Didn't work to well for the eggs , they were too hot .

7/7/20 @ 9:12 PM
jimbo55will
User since 1/17/07

When I said "over water" I meant houses mounted on galvanized pipe driven into the bottom of the lake or pond or river. This helps prevent predation by squirrels and racoons and opossum. Snakes are not a concern up north here like they are down south. The easiest way to do this is in winter when you can drill a hole in the ice and pound in your pipe. I use 12 foot pipe and pound in about 4 feet of that. The lake mine are in are very mucky bottoms. The bottom of the house is about a foot out of the water but I plan on raising them this winter because some of the heavy spring rains we got raised the water level to just below the box. 2 pipe strap clamps hold the house to the pipe. I thank you for your efforts Kona and may you be rewarded with Woodies using one or more of your boxes. I appreciate your efforts.

Jim

7/7/20 @ 2:33 PM
kona77
User since 6/20/13

Jimbo-  All our boxes were put close to water on various tree's.. Do not believe we are further than 15-20 feet from water on any of the boxes.. A couple of the boxes are on willows that even overhang a river.. We have been looking to re-locate several of the boxes but always keep the distance from water as our #1 criteria.. Have never tried any on poles.     

7/7/20 @ 1:51 PM
jimbo55will
User since 1/17/07

kona77, Just like buying a new house--Location, Location, Location. I've found that putting boxes over water is much more successful than putting them over land. By that I mean don't just nail them to a tree along a shoreline or in the woods. Squirrels will take them over. And if you put them on a long pipe you must put up a squirrel guard on the pole (kind of like the kind one puts on bird feeder poles) and don't put the pole closer than 8 feet to a tree or branch. Those squirrels are great leapers. I have attached a couple of pics of two of my boxes.

7/7/20 @ 7:16 AM
kona77
User since 6/20/13

Jimbo-   I also applaud your efforts and appreciate your update and pictures.. I am not a "woodie expert" but do support D/U and Wetlands for Wildlife and perhaps you could contact one of these organizations for some more information to your questions. My buddy and I have put-up several wood duck boxes over the last 4-5 years with no confirmed hatchings.. 

7/6/20 @ 9:57 PM
jimbo55will
User since 1/17/07

Just for everyone's information, these houses are on a public lake that has a free public launch. I would encourage everyone that has an interest in helping out the Wood duck population to get on the internet for Wood Duck house plans and maybe make a couple and put one out. It is very rewarding to see your results when you are successful and have a Woodie use your box. I am 70 years old and used to hunt ducks with a passion in my younger days and this gives me just as much or more of a thrill as when I'd hunt.

Jim

7/6/20 @ 4:14 PM
Wicasa
Wicasa
User since 11/11/15

Very cool   Thanks for the report and thanks for your conservation efforts   

DISPLAYING 1 TO 8 OF 8 POSTS
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