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Homemade Nest Boxes For Cavity-Nesting Ducks


Don't be disappointed if ducks do not use your nest box the first year, for it may take a year or two for them to do so. If the box still has not been used after 2 or 3 years, try moving it to another location.Remember, however, once you have put a box out, you have made a commitment to maintain it annually. If you fail to do this, you will have just wasted your time and done nothing for the cavity-nesters in your area (Figure 20).

Only about 1 percent of North Dakota is forested. Most of this forest occurs along the state/river valleys. Although we have the lowest percentage of forest lands of any state, we still have a tremendous potential for increasing the abundance of our cavity-nesting waterfowl.

By engaging in the projects described in this circular, you can establish cavity-nesters in areas where none have nested before. Once you get birds established, you are well on your way to building local populations that will readily accept and use your safe homemade nest boxes.

GIF-Wood Duck Hen with Eggs

Figure 20. The end result of you efforts to build, properly place and maintain your nest boxes is that cavity nesters will use your boxes to lay, incubate and hatch a clutch of eggs. Above, a wood duck hen incubates her eggs in a double compartment wood nest box provided for her along the James River south of Jamestown, N.D.

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