This is a reminder that now is a great time of year to do basic annual maintenance of your Dead Lake Association wood duck nesting box. Many wood ducks have already arrived at Dead Lake. Simply inspect your wood duck nesting box to ensure that a squirrel or another bird hasn’t jammed the nesting box full sticks or that the box needs other maintenance! Also, fluff up or add new wood shavings (NOT saw dust) to the bottom of the box. This 4” to 6” of bedding is important because the hen wood duck doesn’t carry nesting material to the box. If you have a wood duck nesting box that’s mounted on a tree, ensure that there is some type of predator guard around the tree or consider removing the wood duck house and mounting it on to a wood or metal pole with a “predator guard”.
According to one study, the typical hatch is about 10 ducklings per nest. In the wild, duckling survival rate ranges from 22-41% and the primary cause of death is from predators. However, with proper nesting box mounting and predator protection, the survival rate may reach 60%-80%. Visit the Wood Duck Society web site to learn more about the predator guard at Wood Duck Society. You can make these guards yourself (as the Dead Lake Association did) or buy them through the Wood Duck Society.
If you have several wood duck houses on your property and some of them have been unproductive for more than two years, consider relocating them to a different spot.
If you have a successful Dead Lake nesting this year, please let us know abut it. It’s nice to get feedback and pictures as a result of this 2008 Dead Lake Association conservation effort!