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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Nest Structures for Ducks and Geese

Wood Ducks
Nest Materials and Maintenance

The best nest material to use in wood duck boxes is wood shavings or the nonabsorbent wood chips sold for animal bedding. Fine sawdust should not be used alone since it holds too much moisture, but coarse shavings mixed with some sawdust are acceptable.

Wood duck houses must be inspected and refilled each year, preferably just before the ducks arrive in mid-March. Many other creatures will use these boxes, filling them with sticks, leaves, and grass. These unwanted materials, plus the remains of last year's wood duck nests, must be removed. In most cases, complete removal of all the old shavings is not necessary, but some new shavings should be added each year to insure consistent use.

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