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SapperACE

Wood Duck House Question?

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I just built 4 new wood duck houses and could't be happier with how they turned out. I followed the plans that came in the outdoor news for the wood duck challenge (highly recommended).

Here's my question. Is it already too late for them to be used this year? I just hung my new houses up yesterday, and I am very anxious for a woody to call one of them home.

Any other tips on how to attract wood ducks would be appreciated. 2 of my houses are in my back yard near the river that runs just behind my house. I live in town, but I have seen wood ducks on the river behind my house on many occasions. I just hope it's not to busy back there to attract them, and I hope my pup won't deter them either.

Sorry... lots of babbling and silly questions in this post... just really excited. Thanks again for any help!

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I just checked the first photo I took of wood ducks on the river at my house this year--it was March 29th. They arrived a bit earlier than that. I don't know about nesting, because my house fell down a couple years ago. But I do still see a lot of random activity up and down the river as if they are still looking for that perfect spot. Quite a few people in Marshall say they have wood ducks nesting right in town. I fenced the yard for the pup, and left the river bank outside of the fenced in area for the critters. I have a gate so that I can access it, but Maggie can't--that's where the wood duck house went, so the fledglings stood a chance. The fencing is open enough to still be able to see and enjoy the area. Now my question--does your house design have a clean out of some kind? The squirrels would get in mine, and I couldn't clean it out. I'm not sure I ever had wood ducks though I did have house hunters that would sit on top for a day or so.

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I don't think it's too late.

If you want to go the extra mile, think about putting them on a 4x4 treated pole with a predator guard. That way you can ensure as close to 100% nest success as possible.

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I'll echo B. Amish's sentiments about the predator guards and the answer to the question about it being too late is no. From some info I got once upon a time from the Wood Duck Society, they will continue to nest up until the early part of July, especially if their nesting attempts have been disrupted. (see comments about predator guards wink ) The first year I put out a house, I didn't get it out until mid-April. It was occupied within a week. For more info check out the Wood Duck Society HSOforum:

www.woodducksociety.com

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It's not to early, I've got two to put up yet here in Iowa. Don't be suprised if you get a Hooded Merganser to use one of them. Several people in town have nest boxs with good results!

Mike

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i'll also add this. make sure they have a clear path to the house. meaning clear away any branches that might be in the way. it will help them find it faster and help them enter it without injury from manuevering through branches as they fly.

if you've ever seen a wood duck enter a house, you'd probably be amazed at how fast they fly when entering.

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Thanks all for the info! I was thinking that a predator guard wouldn't be necessary since I'm in town, and the houses are on a post away from any trees, then I saw fresh racoon tracks on the river bank as I was cleaning up trash. I'll be putting a predator guard on ASAP. I was just thinking about those pesky cats too.

Also, I did make the houses so I can remove the front by taking out a few screws with my cordless drill. This will allow me to clean them out easily. Thanks again everyone for all the info!

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