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joejelly

Wood Ducks

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joejelly

I understand that this is a fishing forum but I assume most of you do some sort of hunting as well. Knowing that I was hoping to obtain some info. on placing Wood Duck houses. If any of you have either done this or might know where I may obtain some info. regarding this subject it would be appreciated. I was wondering about location, height, when to put them out, maintennence etc.I cant seem to find the info at ducks.org and was hoping someone might have a web site that would have this info. Thanks in advance for your help with this matter.

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DOAducks

are you talking about those really nice wood duck houses on the side of the shed. those look like they were made by a pro, where did you get them? smile.gifsmile.gif We need to do that soon, I have all the info on where. lets do that the last weekend in april. those are probably the best looking wood duck houses I have ever seen, if ducks had t.v. there would be a cribs for ducks and they would be on there. wink.gifwink.gif

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gorrilla

Joejelly, I think the best way to mount houses is on poles. I have placed numerous ones on trees in the past, but the main problem that is created is predators(coons, possums, even red squirrels) and also house robbers (grey & fox squirrels are famous for this).

The best remedy for the problem is to mount the house to a pole(metal if possible, but wood will work too). Several feet below the pole it is very necessary to mount a downward facing cone(predator shield). These are generally made out of galvanized sheet metal, but I don't see why plastic wouldn't work. They have to be high enough off the ground so squirrels can't jump over them and large enough around so raccoons can't climb around them. It isn't going to matter to the ducks it the pole is only 6-8 feet tall either. Its a lot easier to clean them out every year at that height too (a necessary step each spring to remove old nasty eggs, wood chips, feathers and replace the bottom third with dry cedar/wood chips).

It no fun trying to reach a 25 ft high house while having to tote the ladder 1/2 mile into the swamp/woods and climb up only to have an angry squirrel rocket out over your shoulder, not to mention very dangerous.

Each house should have either rough cut cedar on the front wall or a climbing mesh for ducklings to exit the house and and access door for annual cleaning. I like a door that extends to the bottom of the side wall so its a lot easier to sweep the old materials out rather than having to dig into it. One other preference I have is to face the openings of the houses to the southeast so the predominant cold winds from the NW don't hit it and the early morning warmth of the rising sun helps, but the hotter afternoon sun isn't shooting right in.

Just remember that they don't have to be placed right on the water to be successful, mother wood ducks will hatch broods and lead them to water if its within 1/2 mile. So if you have a backyard within reason, put one up...

PS. two years ago, my dad saw 13 little ones make their first leap out of the box one morning when he got up and looked out his bedroom window. Pretty cool.

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fishroger

Hello Joe. I write stewardship plans for landowners. Have seen a lot of land. The houses dont need to be next to water. Wood ducks use hollow trees alot for nesting. The bookstore has some good books on construction of houses and placement. " Wood working for wildlife" and " Landscaping for Wildlife" by Carrol Henderson are especially good and informative. You do need some form of predator control like gorilla said. The critters will be real creative and persistent to get some fresh duck eggs or young ones. Wood ducks will eat almost anything especially acorns or berries so if you can put the house close to a food source you should have good luck.

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joejelly

D.O.A. I figured that i would put them up finally. Someones got to do it! Gorilla and fishroger thanks for the info. that is exactly what I was looking for. I am on some backwaters of the Old Miss. I figured along the shoreline would work. I also have poles for mounting which i think ill use verses putting them in a tree. I will be more likly to maintain them if they're in reach and you say that 6-8 feet will work. Great. i figured critters would be my biggest problem. I will make sure to have some defence mechanizms in place. Once again thanks. What about time of year. Is now too early Ive seen some woodies already and got to believe they are looking for nesting spots soon.

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DOAducks

joe those houses are like a fine wine... only get better with age. grin.gifgrin.gif

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gorrilla

Joe, this is the time to have them ready. I've seen some locally already looking in the trees. One thing to keep in mind with the Mississippi River areas, they are excellent locations with tons of woodies each year. Just make sure your boxes are above the average high water levels since spring ice will wipe out all your hard work in one wet spring.

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joejelly

Thanks for the tip.

I talked to someone at D.U. friday and he said that he was going to talk to someone at the national office to see if they can add info. for duck houses on their website. Hopefully it gets done so people like myself have simple and accurate info. for these projects. I am going to give it a try. Hopefully its successful if any thing it will be a fun learning experience.

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