Post Content

Marion Larson

Marion Larson

Outreach Coordinator, MassWildlife

View Marion's Bio

Drake Wood Duck. While wood ducks are wintering in warm, southern climes, MassWildlife biologists and technicians are braving chilly winter temperatures on icy ponds, marshes, and other wetlands evaluating the condition of wood duck boxes and replacing boxes (or box parts) that are missing or in disrepair. No one should stand in a boat trying to pound a bird box pole into the mud; that’s why the dead of winter is the best time to repair and renovate!

MassWildlife Technician Jacob Morris-Seigel captured this image of his co-worker, Nancy Dewkett, who is replacing an old wood duck box on Scace Pond in Richmond with the new box in the sled.

DFW's Nancy Dewkett with replacement box at Scace Pond Wood ducks, the most colorful duck that nests in the Bay State, make their homes in tree cavities. Under natural conditions wood ducks (and hooded mergansers) build their nests in holes or rotted hollows they find in old or damaged trees. There aren’t always many of these trees in or near water. Fortunately, the wood duck will accept artificial housing, provided it meets certain basic requirements of size and safety.

If you are inspired to build a wood duck box, use the same plans MassWildlife uses—the design meets the needs of the ducks (thanks to the biologists who tried out innumerable experimental box designs), it’s easy to swap out parts, and the predator guard keeps hungry raccoons and other predators from reaching in to grab eggs. Be sure to use rough-cut pine lumber as it is inexpensive, lightweight, and – most importantly – provides footholds for the ducklings when they are ready to leave the box and take their first swim.

Wood duck information and box building plans. 

The image of the colorful drake (male) wood duck was taken by MassWildlife’s staff photographer, Bill Byrne.

Written By:

Recent Posts

Before the Boston Seafood Festival, Reconsider the Lobster posted on Jul 23

Before the Boston Seafood Festival, Reconsider the Lobster

Everything that you have been told about lobsters is a lie. Okay, maybe not everything. But despite the popularity of the lobster industry (and it’s a very popular industry—bringing in over $53 million dollars in Massachusetts alone), many popular beliefs about the lobster’s existence are   …Continue Reading Before the Boston Seafood Festival, Reconsider the Lobster

Braille Trail Coming Soon to Watertown posted on Jul 21

Braille Trail Coming Soon to Watertown

The town of Watertown, in partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will be opening a Braille Trail and a Sensory Garden, one of the few parks of its kind. Breaking ground on July 21st, this project hopes to be completed by late   …Continue Reading Braille Trail Coming Soon to Watertown

Park Profiles: Groundwork Lawrence posted on Jul 15

Park Profiles: Groundwork Lawrence

In late April, Governor Deval Patrick and former Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Rick Sullivan joined Mayor Dan Rivera and Senator Barry Finegold to make an exciting announcement.  Governor Patrick announced a $2.75 million investment in Lawrence’s Ferrous Site to acquire a three acre   …Continue Reading Park Profiles: Groundwork Lawrence