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#113261 - 03/27/08 09:43 PM Attracting Wood Ducks (or any old duck)
JohnF Offline

Registered: 03/27/08
Posts: 1
Loc: Texas
I really enjoyed Bob McFarland's article on his wood ducks. I too have a 6 acre pond in north Texas with a beautiful wood duck house sitting, like so many houses today, with a "For Sale Cheap" sign in front. For the two years it has sat empty, attractive $6 decoys have been looking skyward for live soulmates to visit, but we only get an occasional tire-kicker. Can I call Bob? Buy him a sandwich and learn his duck secrets? It's so great that he HAS ducks, but how the heck did he GET them? Any ideas are welcome. Thanks

#113262 - 03/27/08 09:51 PM Re: Attracting Wood Ducks (or any old duck) [Re: JohnF]
Brettski Offline
Field Correspondent

Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 6873
Loc: Illinois
Hey JohnF
Great first post, if I do say so myself...
I think I would be inclined to contact the Wood Duck Society and ask for assistance.
We put up four of them last year with no takers. I am uncertain what is gonna happen this year. It's possible that they host some Hooded Mergansers. TBD.

#113267 - 03/27/08 10:10 PM Re: Attracting Wood Ducks (or any old duck) [Re: Brettski]
Bill Cody Offline
Field Correspondent


Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12367
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
JohnF. IF you contact the Pond Boss office Kathy should be able to put you in touch with Mr. McFarland or have him contact you for a duck brain storming session.
Keep This Forum Viable, Read Pond Boss Magazine -
America's Journal of Pond Management

#113324 - 03/28/08 10:04 AM Re: Attracting Wood Ducks (or any old duck) [Re: Bill Cody]
Sgt911 Offline

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 265
Loc: Giddings, Texas
Make sure it is clean with new fresh straw or wood shavings. Woodducks do not build their own nest, you have to do that for them. My boxes are in the water close to cover, they can be from 6' to 70' high. You cant really attract them but they like a clean house...This has been my experience and I have had success. Also, if possible, have the box opening face open water to the east so the back of the box gets heated by the west sun.I grease the pole to keep the other critters out..If you knew this, then I apologize

Edited by Sgt911 (03/28/08 10:20 AM)
"Is the Poop-Deck really what I think it is?" - Homer Simpson

"A man can't just sit around" - Larry Walters, 1982

#113401 - 03/28/08 05:27 PM Re: Attracting Wood Ducks (or any old duck) [Re: Sgt911]
ericdc Offline

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 328
Loc: Louisiana, USA
This is not from personal experience, but I can say that any grain like corn, millet, wheat, barley, or sorghum work REALLY WELL when placed in shallow water or near water. There always seems to be several poachers arrested each year hunting over grain (baiting). They wouldn't be doing this if there wasn't an upside (if they don't get caught). This would be perfectly legal and a great way to attract waterfowl to your pond. You'll also get a healthy population of mourning doves.

#113440 - 03/28/08 11:23 PM Re: Attracting Wood Ducks (or any old duck) [Re: ericdc]
bz Offline

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 844
Loc: Minnesota
We have a wood duck expert here in MN who just wrote an article in the local sporting paper. He puts his houses on metal poles at a height where he can clean and maintain them without a ladder. He installs those cone shaped critter guards on the pole. They don't have to be over water. He says the important things are like others have said above, clean the house each year and put fresh sawdust or hay. He said nothing about orientation of the house, east, west, whatever. Don't put them in thick trees where they cannot fly directly into the box. He did say that if you have racoons around that they would scare the wood ducks away from houses near the pond. So then you might want to put the houses 100 yards away or in any area where there is an open flight lane especially if you see wood ducks hanging around an area. They will sit up in the trees near where they want to nest. If that area is a long way from the pond that's fine. The ducks will walk a quarter mile if they have to. Then you just wait. I regularly have wood ducks in two of my four houses but not the other two, who knows why. I have one house in which the hooded mergansers lay eggs mixed in with the wood duck eggs. The hen wood ducks hatch them all.
Gotta get back to fishin!

#113533 - 03/30/08 06:13 AM Re: Attracting Wood Ducks (or any old duck) [Re: bz]
MarkECIN Offline

Registered: 03/11/06
Posts: 388
Loc: Wayne County, Indiana
That picture above looks similar to placement/duck houses I brought back from Louisiana last year (made of cypress). I need to clean them out and put fresh bedding. This is really the first year I can expect something so I, too, am looking for ways to attract the wood ducks. I like the grease pole idea too as I'd been told about that last week and thought that was a good idea as I don't have any pests protection on my poles right now. Going do some more reading on them. When do they begin nesting in Indiana????

#113690 - 03/31/08 02:05 PM Re: Attracting Wood Ducks (or any old duck) [Re: MarkECIN]
Schroeder Offline

Registered: 09/09/05
Posts: 110
Loc: Central Indiana
Wood ducks are exploring my house already. I can't remember for sure from last year when they started nesting but seems it was mid to late April. They are very skittish of humans. If there are different breeds of ducks on my pond, the wood ducks always are the first to fly off when they see me. Your pond may not have enough seclusion and proximity to woods to attract them, but it is worth a try.

#113738 - 03/31/08 06:40 PM Re: Attracting Wood Ducks (or any old duck) [Re: Schroeder]
MarkECIN Offline

Registered: 03/11/06
Posts: 388
Loc: Wayne County, Indiana
Oh gosh, Schroeder! I best get busy and get them cleaned out and new bedding in (hope no owls making use of them like last year, I heard they can be mean). I don't have but the line of trees (8' tall) I planted on one side now, couple of weeping willows (15'), and my grasses for ducks along the pond edges didn't take good...may not get lucky this year with the ducks then. Still hoping, though. \:\) Maybe pick up a couple of decoys.....thanks for the info.


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