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Homemade Nest Boxes For Cavity-Nesting Ducks

GIF - Nestbox picture

Terry A. Messmer
NDSU Extension Service

Michael A. Johnson
N.D. Game and Fish Department

Forrest B. Lee
Great Plains Wildlife Services

NDSU Extension Service
North Dakota State Univeristy, Fargo, ND 58105


Four species of ducks normally nest in tree cavities in North Dakota. They are the wood duck, hooded merganser, common goldeneye and bufflehead. While these birds are of lesser importance as game species, they are beautiful birds that add much to our enjoyment of the natural environment.

When natural cavities are scarce or absent, these ducks may not reproduce successfully. Fortunately, they readily accept and nest in a variety of homemade nest boxes. Actually, homemade nest boxes have the potential of providing safer nesting sites than do natural cavities because they can be made predator-proof.

This circular contains information and plans for construction, predator proofing, placement and maintenance of one metal and two wooden types of nest boxes for cavity-nesting ducks. The advantages or disadvantages of each type are discussed. In addition, there are a number of commercially available nest boxes on the market. A list of addresses is provided for those who wish to purchase nest boxes.


This resource is based on the following source:

Messmer, Terry A., Micheal A. Johnson, and Forrest B. Lee.  1989.
     Homemade Nest Boxes for Cavity-nesting Ducks.  NDSU Extension
     Service, Fargo, ND. 22pp.
This resource should be cited as:
Messmer, Terry A., Micheal A. Johnson, and Forrest B. Lee.  1989.
     Homemade Nest Boxes for Cavity-nesting Ducks.  NDSU Extension
     Service, Fargo, ND. Jamestown, ND: 
     Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/birds/nestbox/index.htm
     (Version 15AUG97).

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Downloading Instructions -- Instructions on downloading and extracting files from this site.
Download icon nestbox.zip (705K) -- Homemade Nest Boxes for Cavity-nesting Ducks Installation: Extract all files and open index.htm in a web browser.

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