wood duck box

Ideally, a four-inch layer of wood shavings should be added to each box for nesting material. Double check your measurements for accuracy before cutting. Do not apply finish inside the box. Improving water quality in Lake Mitchell S.D. If you are cutting your board with a handsaw or jigsaw, use anything with a straight edge (square, ruler, or spare board) to mark a line with a pencil as a guide. Score the inside face of the front (4) with a saw. Conical predator guards made of sheet metal are most effective. The dimensions of the box should be large enough to hold 12 to 15 clutch eggs and hen. If using a nail, do not hammer all the way in. Already have a nesting box? Unfortunately, their distribution within densely settled regions made them readily accessible to market hunters throughout the year. This too is a good reason to keep your boxes in top condition. Ducks Unlimited does not recommend applying a finish to cedar boxes. The two screws form the hinge and allow the door to open. Since these pioneering efforts, thousands of wood duck boxes have been built and erected by a diversity of people and groups, from wildlife agencies to conservation-minded private citizens. Cavity nesting ducks do not carry nesting materials. Attach the floor by fastening two screws through the back (1) and two through the side (2). If you don't have any ducks using your box over the summer, don't worry. Every year in the fall, after the nesting season has completed, or in the winter, clean out old nesting material from the box and replace it with a fresh layer of wood shavings. Rough-cut, unfinished lumber is preferred because ducklings have no trouble climbing the inside of the box with their sharp claws to reach the exit hole. This information has been compiled from the nest box guide for waterfowl by Ducks Unlimited and the Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada; and a conservator article by Mearl Ronney (Vol. Pin the door shut with a nail from the front or add a latch. You'll also see them using trees along riverbanks and … Several important factors must be considered when selecting sites to place wood duck boxes. Measure and cut your board to produce the six pieces as shown below. This annual cleaning needs to be part of your long-term maintenance commitment once you place your nest box. In addition, shallow, fertile wetlands with thick cover and an abundance of invertebrates typically provide the best habitat for broods. DU celebrates historic signing of ACE Act into law, These wooden structures help boost local wood duck populations. Boxes made of plastic or metal are not preferred. The ducks will find your box by seeing the contrast in color caused by the entry hole. Cut it to the lengths shown at right. Wood duck females typically build their nests in tree cavities near wetlands. The female will use this to cover the eggs during laying or when she takes feeding breaks during incubation. [STEP 2] On the outer face of the front, cut an oval-shaped entry hole, 4 ½ inches wide and 3 ½ inches high. Biological Survey (now the U.S. The ducks will find your box by seeing the contrast in color caused by the entry hole. The most effective way to provide defense from these marauders is to install a predator guard on the pole supporting the box. In precolonial times, the wood duck was likely the most abundant waterfowl species in eastern North America. Boxes should be cleaned out and replenished with fresh nesting material every year in late winter, before hens initiate nesting in early spring. Don't have wood ducks in your area? Draw the entry hole on the front (4) using a pencil (4 1/2" x 3 1/2" oval). Wood duck boxes provide an excellent opportunity for anyone to become involved in wildlife management. Round the top outside edge of the door (5) with sandpaper. DU’s Pacific Northwest field office named WDFW Partner Organization of the Year. It's important to help them out by placing four to six inches of wood shavings in the bottom of the box. Nesting sites for these birds are limited in number. Wood duck boxes provide an excellent opportunity for anyone to become involved in wildlife management. Cedar lumber is recommended because it is naturally resistant to weather and insects. Avoid the urge to look into the box during spring and summer. You never know when a duck might hop into the box. In 1937, the U.S. See our tips for building a predator guard and finding the right place to install. By building, installing and maintaining nest boxes, individuals can gain insight into the interesting aspects of wood duck nesting and reproduction, while helping to boost local populations. Find many great new & used options and get the best deals for Wood Duck Nest Box (3 pack) Cedar at t… You'll see these birds using wooded wetlands that contain water year-round or, at least, throughout the summer. Waterfowl biologists have seen waterfowl migrating in the fall scope out potential nesting sites for next spring. When they find a good nesting site, there is a very good chance they'll return in following years. You do not want the wood to be treated because it can be poisonous to avian species. The dramatic rebound of wood duck populations since that time can be largely attributed to protection provided by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Over the next two years, Arthur Hawkins and renowned wood duck expert Frank Bellrose erected 700 rough-cut cypress board boxes throughout Illinois. Do not apply finish inside the box. It can suffocate ducklings and holds moisture. Ideally, boxes should be erected on either wooden posts or metal conduits outfitted with predator guards. Wood Duck Box Design. Do not use treated lumber. Be sure and construct a predator guard for your wood duck box before installing. These wooden structures help boost local wood duck populations, and may also be used by other cavity nesting birds. A quality box first needs to be durable and built to last. Note: You can also use steel hardware cloth fencing attached with a staple gun for toe holds. These ducks build nests in abandoned woodpecker holes or natural tree cavities caused by disease, fire or lightning. Materials: • One 1”x10”x10’ cypress (used here) or cedar • One 1x12x13” cypress (used here) or cedar • Thirty-five to forty 2” exterior-grade deck screws • One galvanized screen door “propeller” latch • One 4x12” wire mesh (1/4”) or metal lathe (for fledgling exit ladder) It's important to help them out by placing four to six inches of wood shavings in the bottom of the box. Wood Duck Box Plans [STEP 1] Start with a 12-foot plank of 1×10 lumber--cedar is best; pine will work. A finish might help to extend the life of a plywood box. Care must be taken to ensure that the guard fits tightly against the post and that no overhanging tree limbs allow predators to bypass the predator shield. While many types and styles of wood duck boxes have been produced from a variety of materials over the years, those made from rough-cut lumber, like the original prototypes built by Hawkins and Bellrose, seem to work best. More than half were used by "woodies," revealing the great management potential of the boxes. Do not use sawdust. Biological Survey (now the U.S. We recommend one 1 X 10 X 12' cedar board (3/4" thick by 9 1/4" wide) lumber that is rough on one side (for the inside of the box). To increase the chances of your nest box being used by waterfowl, it should be located in an area attractive to cavity nesting ducks. If you decide to apply a finish to your nest box, use a nontoxic wood preserver or a light shade of an earth-tone paint. Drill a pilot hole and cut out the entry hole using a jigsaw. Overharvesting, coupled with the destruction of bottomland habitats, drove these colorful birds to the brink of extinction by the early 20th century. See detailed view below. Proper entry hole dimensions are critical. Ducks Unlimited does not recommend applying a finish to cedar boxes. Note: the shorter side (7.75") faces front.

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