Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Figure 18. Cavity nesters do not carry nest material to nest boxes. Therefore, 3 to 5 inches of suitable nest material must be provided for them.
Whether you use wood or metal to build your nest box, you must remember that ducks do not carry nest material to the nest. Therefore, suitable nest material must be maintained in the bottom of every nest box. As a guideline, place from 3 to 5 inches of coarse sawdust, shavings, wood chips or rotted wood in the bottom of the nest box. It is important to include some shavings or chips since sawdust alone tends to pack. Most of these materials are readily available at any carpentry or millwork shop. In addition, pet stores and farm and ranch supply stores often carry wood chips suitable for bedding materials.
Landscaping wood chips from any nursery or garden store will also work well. Another option is to use natural materials found at the placement site such as bark, chips or rotting wood.