Spring is coming and it is time to maintain or build new wood duck boxes. MDWFA has directions and plans for you on how to build and install your wood duck boxes.
Our own Aaron Ward has made instruction on how to build the nesting boxes.
Here is another article on how to hang the boxes with the predator guards.
Maryland Wood Duck Initiative
September 2018 Director’s Message
Despite early season gains and encouragement at two large sites, the tally elsewhere has been poor involving about 50% of the nest boxes. Counts are not finalized but the overall yield may indicate the most significant drop in production recorded by MWDI – an 8-12% decline. Habitat has been very good but the drop in total eggs being laid and the increased level of nests failures at modest – moderate clutch sizes is baffling.
My optimism for the final 2017 production summary was also misplaced as the total hatch dropped 1.5% to 7,746 from7,863 instead of exceeding 8,000 as projected. Production was from 117 sites involving 1,775 boxes. New sites the past two years while showing moderate performance have been below expectations but this only accounts for a portion of the decline as final reports from a host of smaller projects were also below expectations. The annual survey routinely includes a drop in production from old sites where supervision has been lacking. Gains elsewhere were insufficient or non-existent to offset these estimated reductions.
The relationship with Phoenix Metals continues to be great. We note that private program sponsors continue to add predator guards at a more rapid pace than boxes which is a tangible “best practices” enhancement that will benefit overall Maryland production.
Two additional box assembly events have been held since April and two additional ones are scheduled for this fall at the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center and Maret School bringing MWDI’s total to 6 this year.
MWDI has supplies for new public projects if you wish to initiate one. We will review site habitat, assist box location and train volunteers but you must have a project manager idetified to monitor the project after installation.
As always, thank you to our dedicated volunteers for helping to make a difference.