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Wood Duck - Cover
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Wood Duck - Cover

Wood Duck
(Aix sponsa)

Cover


Cover - Nesting

Wood ducks nest in natural tree cavities and in some cases, those excavated and abandoned by woodpeckers. Nesting boxes are also readily accepted for nesting. Nesting pairs typically select cavities in deciduous woodland areas in close proximity to rivers, wetlands, and other suitable aquatic habitats used for brood rearing. Cavities located 30 feet or more above the ground are preferred, but the height can vary from near ground level to 65 feet. Suitable natural cavity dimensions typically have an entrance hole diameter of at least 4 inches, an inside diameter of approximately 6 to 8 inches, and a depth of at least 24 inches. Optimal nesting habitat contains up to five suitable cavities per acre in close proximity to brood-rearing habitat; however, since most natural cavities are not suitable for use by nesting wood ducks, these conditions frequently require that 50 or 60 natural cavities per acre exist. This illustrates the utility of providing suitable artificial nesting boxes to augment the availability of natural cavities. Nesting Cover

Cover - Brood Rearing

Wood duck broods require shallow water for foraging on invertebrates and aquatic plants that contain some protective cover from predators. A ratio of 50 to 75 percent cover to 25 to 50 percent open water is preferred as brood-rearing (and breeding) habitat. Cover may be provided by trees or shrubs overhanging the water, flooded woody vegetation and debris, and herbaceous emergent vegetation. Ideal shrub cover is provided by mature shrubs that provide a dense canopy about two feet above the water surface. Button bush is an important shrub species in a large portion of the wood duck's range due to its brushy growth form, providing brood cover, and its prolific seed production, used heavily by foraging adults. Reliance on permanent, deeper water bodies for brood habitat should be avoided to minimize duckling mortality from aquatic predators such as snapping turtles and large fish.

Adult molting cover requirements are generally met by suitable brood-rearing habitat. Permanent water, cover, and food are the key elements of molting habitat.

Cover - Winter

In areas where wood ducks winter, areas similar to brood rearing habitat provide adequate winter cover. Bottomland hardwood wetlands and quiet river backwaters and streams with an abundance of partially submerged downed timber, shrubs, and woody debris are favored. Winter-persistent herbaceous emergent vegetation that has a shrubby-like life form (e.g., cattail, soft rush, bulrush, bur-reed, etc.) may also provide adequate winter cover. Security provided by overhead woody cover is the key element of good wood duck roosting habitat. Winter Cover

   
Heartwood Wood Duck Joy Box Birdhouse
John James Audubon did some of his most famous bird drawings as he explored on foot along the Natchez Trace, which happens to be located near Star, Mississippi, where we design and make all our Heartwood homes. While birding has come a long way since Audubon's time, today with our four-season nesting boxes and basic homes, you don't need to go to anywhere to enjoy all manner of wonderful bird life flocking to your door. Discreet complements to any landscape, these hardy havens are convenient, long lasting and beautiful-the picture perfect start to your life in birding! Season after season, this delightful nesting box is a joy to behold and a breeze to maintain thanks to easy twist latch and slide-front panel that also inverts for winter roosting. So easy to use, so easy to love, it turns birding into child's play! Rugged construction features 13/16" solid cypress and headed ring shank stainless steel nails.
Dimensions: 11" x 12" x 24 1/2"; 4" hole
Made in the USA!

   
Coveside Bufflehead Duck House
The Bufflehead, with its striking white sides and white patch on its head, is smaller than most cavity nesting ducks.Dependent on nest boxes, this house is ideal due to the scarcity of holes excavated by a large woodpecker or flicker.
RANGE: Breeds in Alaska east to western Quebec, and south in mountains to Washington and Montana. Winters in southern U.S., south to Mexico, Gulf Coast and northern Florida.
HABITAT: Nests on wooded lakes and ponds; winters mainly on salt bays and estuaries.

(17-3/4"h x 9-1/4"w x 11"d)

   
Coveside Common Merganser Duck House
This house provides a perfect nest box for mergansers that normally nest in tree cavities. Positioning a house on a pole in the open water provides extra protection from predators.
RANGE: Breeds across Canada from eastern Alaska, Manitoba and Newfoundland south in mountains to California, northern New Mexico, Great Lakes and northern New England. Winters south to northern Mexico and Georgia; also in Eurasia.
HABITAT: Breeds on wooded rivers and ponds; winters mainly on lakes and rivers, occasionally on salt water.

(24-1/4"h x 11"w x 13"d)


   
Coveside Small Wood Duck House
"Dump nesting" occurs when a number of females lay eggs in a single house, which sometimes results in clutches with over 70 eggs. Mississippi State University did a study of Wood Ducks in an effort to reduce this problem. A smaller nest box was designed and "dump nesting" was reduced. Although fewer ducklings are fledged from each box, the survival rate is improved and the cost per fledgling is less. This box comes with a wire ladder and nesting chips, and the front opens for observation and cleaning.
RANGE: Breeds from British Columbia south to California, and from Montana east to Nova Scotia, and south to Texas and Florida; absent from Rocky Mountains and Great Plains. Winters near Pacific Coast north to Washington, and to New Jersey in East, rarely further north.
HABITAT: Nests beside wooded rivers and ponds. Visits freshwater marshes in late summer and fall.

(17"h x 7-1/2"w x 15"d)

Coveside Wood Hooded Merganser Duck House
Coveside's Wood Duck House opens two ways for observation and cleaning, and has an internal ladder for the duckings to climb out. Mother calls ducklings to the protection of the open water at age one day.
RANGE: Breeds from British Columbia south to California, and from Montana east to Nova Scotia, and south to Texas and Florida; absent from Rocky Mountains and Great Plains. Winters near Pacific Coast north to Washington, and to New Jersey in East, rarely further north.
HABITAT: Nests beside wooded rivers and ponds. Visits freshwater marshes in late summer and fall.

(24-1/4"h x 11"w x 15"d)


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