Wood Ducks?

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Spiderman
Posts: 822
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

I have 3 of the round Troyer Gemini Gourd racks with 82 gourds. I have transitioned the Martins from living in wooden houses that I built many years ago to Troyer Horizontal Gourds. I would take down a house and replace it with a Gourd rack every few years.

I still have one of the wooden houses, there are 9 cavities on each side. It has 13 sets of Fledglings of different sizes right now.

About 5 days ago, by 6:00am there would be a pair of wood ducks sitting on the house and the female was looking into an unoccupied attic compartment on the house. Meanwhile 175 Martins are mobbing them in their funnel formation eye to eye with the wood ducks.

I took an old 2"X12" board and constructed a wood duck house close to the size I saw on the web. The house is on an 1&1/2" metal pole that I had . The box is 8' off of the ground and I put it up yesterday afternoon.

This morning the female wood duck went into the wooden box and the male sat on the roof. The Martins are still mobbing the male for sitting on their houses but it looks like it's all going to work out. The wood ducks left a few times and flew up the lake but always returned.
2008 - 33 PAIR - FLEDGED 96 YOUNG
2009 - 51 PAIR - FLEDGED 166 YOUNG
2010 - 45 PAIR - FLEDGED 146 YOUNG
2011 - 33 PAIR - 128 HATCHED, 97 FLEDGED
2012 - 37 PAIR - 119 HATCHED, 101 FLEDGED
randyM
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:30 pm
Location: Long Lake SD
Martin Colony History: 2006 - SY pair, unsuccessful nest attempt, 3 houses = 52 cavities

2010 - ASYM + SYF pair - male disappeared after storm, female fledged all 4 young.

2015 - Lone SYM stayed month of June...added 8 gourds = 60 cavities

2016 - 1 nesting pair (ASYM + SYF) 2/3 eggs hatched 2 young fledged.

2017 - 4 nesting pairs, 16/17 eggs hatched, 16 fledged, 16 banded - 2 banded SY returned in 2018 (12.5%), added housing: 11 houses w/gourds, 4 gourd poles = 376 cavities

2018 - 10 nesting pairs, 46/52 eggs hatched, 45 fledged, 29 banded - 3 banded SY returned in 2019 (10.3%)

2019 - 32 nesting pairs, 145/160 eggs hatched, 139 fledged - 87 banded - 12 banded SY returned in 2020 (13.8%).

2020 - 35 nesting pairs, 180/199 eggs hatched, 178 fledged - 150 banded.

Good work! Wouldn't it have been easier to just make the hole in the unoccupied attic compartment a little bigger for the hen wood duck to squeeze into rather than building a new house? :lol: If you haven't already, put 3-4 inches of wood chips or shavings in the bottom of the wood duck nest box, as wood ducks wont' bring any nesting material into the box. Also, make sure you have a duckling ladder mounted on the inside of the box on the side where the entrance/exit hole is located. A predator guard on the pole would also be a nice addition in not already installed. Good luck with your new neighbors!
white-out
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:21 am
Location: ohio

I have 3 wood duck boxes that have had no vacancy for 23 years. In Ohio you can sometimes get 2 broods in one year. Normally Hooded Mergansers dump eggs in with the wood duck eggs and never look back. This is the only year I have one box with 17 eggs and the merganser is sitting them(going to jump within the week). I set up trail cameras to catch when they jump and if you have never seen it....go to YouTube and check it out. My boxes are over water but they can jump 30+ feet to the ground. IMO they are one of the prettiest ducks you'll ever see.

P.S....by ladder, scratch the wood below the hole up so they can grab with their nails to climb out. Also, it's one duck that lands and sits in trees.
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