Depending on what kind of wood duck box you have acquired or built, they are usually built using one type of wood or another. Used to attract wood ducks or “woodies”, these boxes are believed to be one of the main reasons why we still have these stunning ducks on the landscape today.
When it comes to construction, all wood duck boxes are relatively similar in design. Constructed of cedar or reclaimed materials in our case, to keep wood ducks cool as possible during the nesting season, they can, over time, become susceptible to the wear and tear of the outdoor elements.
While there are differing opinions as to whether or not one should leave their houses up through all four seasons, we always lean towards leaving them up for other birds and critters to utilize when the winds pick up and the temperatures drop.
As such, there will eventually come a time when minor repairs or even replacement may be necessary depending on the age of your box and the quality of construction.
What to Look For
When assessing a possibly damaged box the number one thing you want to look at is moisture and how and where it is able to get inside the box. Using the box as shelter from the weather for themselves and more importantly, their chicks, mother wood ducks need to keep dry to stay safe and healthy.
Have a look for any cracks or other holes that may have formed over the years and be sure to replace any affected panels where possible.
If you are replacing the main panel that contains the entrance hole ALWAYS ensure the hole is cut no larger than 3 x 4 inches in diameter. This size keeps potential predators such as raccoons out and your wood duck chicks safe.
While you are out at the location, do a once over of all of the supporting structures. Ensure that the box is properly secured and slightly angled downward to allow small chicks to easily exit the box when the time comes.