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#487605 - 03/22/18 03:52 PM Spring duck migration
DrLuke Offline


Registered: 06/04/15
Posts: 346
Loc: Grinnell, IA
Wanted to share a picture of this less common duck. The hooded merganser. Cavity nester, just like wood ducks (so will use your wood duck houses potentially). They do eat small fish and other invertebrates/crustaceans, but nothing like a cormorant. The hen actually has a small fish in her beak.
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"You get what you earn." - Terry Brands, state champ, National champ, Olympic silver medalist in wrestling
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#487615 - 03/22/18 08:27 PM Re: Spring duck migration [Re: DrLuke]
CMM Offline


Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 620
Loc: West Central MO
I love this pic. I like seeing the different birds that drop in for a quick visit. Some I hope are shorter visits than others.

4 years ago about 200 pelicans stopped overnight. Thank goodness I still had fish the next day!
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CMM


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#487625 - 03/23/18 09:27 AM Re: Spring duck migration [Re: DrLuke]
canyoncreek Online   content


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1881
Loc: West Michigan
Love the picture! Is it too late to put wood duck boxes out in MI?

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#487627 - 03/23/18 10:33 AM Re: Spring duck migration [Re: DrLuke]
DrLuke Offline


Registered: 06/04/15
Posts: 346
Loc: Grinnell, IA
I'm guessing you'd still have time to attract some wood ducks. While they are definitely migrating back, the mating and nest box choosing party isn't typically going full bore until April.

Nest box 'shopping'..
_________________________
"You get what you earn." - Terry Brands, state champ, National champ, Olympic silver medalist in wrestling
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#487639 - 03/23/18 01:20 PM Re: Spring duck migration [Re: DrLuke]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 343
Loc: Iowa
I need to get some boxes up asap....they've been poking around in the few dead trees I have around the pond but I'd really like for the woodies to stay this year instead of just passing through. I've had 4-12 woodies pairing up on the pond in the last couple of weeks

I saw a nice, lone, goldeneye cruising a public pond this week - beautiful male
_________________________
Mat Peirce
1.25 acre southeast Iowa pond
LMB, BG, YP, WE, HSB, RES, BCP

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#487647 - 03/23/18 02:42 PM Re: Spring duck migration [Re: DrLuke]
DrLuke Offline


Registered: 06/04/15
Posts: 346
Loc: Grinnell, IA
Mat-
I have some houses my dad and I built, and some I purchased from a company in Iowa. I've had both kinds up for one season, and ducks nested in both. Pretty comparable in price, depending on the kind of wood you opt for (cedar is a bit more expensive, but weathers better). If you want the contact info for the ones I purchased, just PM me.
_________________________
"You get what you earn." - Terry Brands, state champ, National champ, Olympic silver medalist in wrestling
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#487654 - 03/23/18 04:18 PM Re: Spring duck migration [Re: DrLuke]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 343
Loc: Iowa
I have all the wood laying around to build some, I just need to get it done - along with quite a few other things around here lol!

What's your mounting pole setup consist of?
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Mat Peirce
1.25 acre southeast Iowa pond
LMB, BG, YP, WE, HSB, RES, BCP

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#487673 - 03/24/18 12:01 PM Re: Spring duck migration [Re: Matzilla]
DrLuke Offline


Registered: 06/04/15
Posts: 346
Loc: Grinnell, IA
Originally Posted By: Matzilla

What's your mounting pole setup consist of?


I use galvanized pipe, 1 1/2 to 2 inch size. Depending on where I plan on driving in the pipe, I may use two threaded 10 foot sections. I drive the first section in to just above water line and then thread on the next section. If it's too tall, I just saw it off 4-6 feet off the water. I use a chunk of 4x4 to protect the threads of the pipe I'm driving. I found out the pipe does deform if you aren't careful, which makes connecting the sections...difficult. :-)
I used pre-drilled angled metal and 2 inch U-bolts to connect the house. The metal is galvanized and has round and slotted holes pre-drilled in it. I cut off two pieces to match the width of the back board on the house. My back boards stick up above and below the level of the house, to make mounting them easier. Then I just marked where some nicely located pre-drilled holes were in the metal and drilled holes for the u-bolts. Couple of washers on each side for strength. The "U" part of the bolt sticks out the back of the nest box backing board, giving you a place to slip it on the pipe. You might not even need the angled metal, but I figured it would last longer with more support.
I'll dig up a picture and post it next chance I get.
Clear as mud, eh?

Found the pictures:



Edited by DrLuke (03/25/18 07:35 PM)
Edit Reason: added pictures
_________________________
"You get what you earn." - Terry Brands, state champ, National champ, Olympic silver medalist in wrestling
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#487683 - 03/24/18 09:45 PM Re: Spring duck migration [Re: DrLuke]
canyoncreek Online   content


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1881
Loc: West Michigan
And just like that, this morning some ducks were spotted in the pond. The house is a ways back so couldn't see what they were till I got my super zoom camera and then could make out that it appears there were 2 M/F pairs. At first it seemed like there were 3 males and one female (first picture, but it is blurry) but I think there were 2 pairs. They swam around and hung around on shore for about 90 min and then were gone. I hope they come back... Sorry for the blurry pictures, I was maxxing my optical and digital zoom to bring them in.















Attachments
IMG_0495.JPG (413 downloads)
IMG_0501.JPG (394 downloads)
IMG_0504.JPG (411 downloads)



Edited by canyoncreek (03/24/18 09:49 PM)

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#487687 - 03/25/18 08:38 AM Re: Spring duck migration [Re: DrLuke]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4241
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Think our ducks are heading back south!






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#487689 - 03/25/18 08:57 AM Re: Spring duck migration [Re: DrLuke]
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 1310
Loc: NE Missouri
I saw a pair on our pond Thursday evening (woodies). I had stopped to buy wood shaving to put in the nesting box. I thought someone said to find cypress shavings. The place I stopped at had cedar, pine, and aspen. I bought the aspen thinking it might be closest to cypress. I put the shavings in the box about 3" deep. Hope that's enough. I can add more. Might have been too late for that pair, as I didn't see them around at all the next day. I'd like a nesting pair, but don't want a whole bunch. Last fall I had 200 woodies on the pond. It's less than an acre now, so I let the dog run a bit to keep them away.
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4 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM, HBG, SMB, and HSB..
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.

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#487778 - 03/27/18 04:09 PM Re: Spring duck migration [Re: DrLuke]
canyoncreek Online   content


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1881
Loc: West Michigan
I'm very sorry to say that I was able to see at least one of the 2 pairs every morning for a week and then my kids were walking down the driveway and saw a flash of color under a spruce tree by the pond. There under the tree was a dead male wood duck. No sign of trauma that I could see and it was laid out neatly under there as if an animal had brought it there and left it, or that the duck had gone there to die purposely. This is outside of the area where our dog can go so he didn't have a hand in it or else would have brought the dead animal to us most likely anyway.

Any idea what the cause would be and the strange way in which we found it hidden so well under the low branches of this tree?

Very sad after being so happy to see them!

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#487790 - 03/27/18 05:17 PM Re: Spring duck migration [Re: canyoncreek]
DrLuke Offline


Registered: 06/04/15
Posts: 346
Loc: Grinnell, IA
Originally Posted By: canyoncreek

Any idea what the cause would be and the strange way in which we found it hidden so well under the low branches of this tree?


Very likely large raptor of some sort. Lots of owls and hawks prey on ducks. Sometimes they fight over their catch and drop it. I've also seen crows attack the predator bird and they'll drop what they've caught.
_________________________
"You get what you earn." - Terry Brands, state champ, National champ, Olympic silver medalist in wrestling
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#487795 - 03/27/18 09:50 PM Re: Spring duck migration [Re: DrLuke]
Redonthehead Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 190
Loc: Missouri
I'm a big duck fan - as in hunting them. Very lucky to be part of a 98 year old club with excellent hunting.

I put two wood duck boxes on my new pond. Built them out of really old cypress boards from a family barn. Set on 4x4 post with requisite predator barrier.
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#487869 - 03/28/18 09:51 PM Re: Spring duck migration [Re: DrLuke]
bryani289swmi Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 11/18/08
Posts: 161
Loc: SW Michigan
Took the camera along tonight while doing some work around the pond, no real close up picture opportunities. Observed redheads, hooded mergansers, northern shovelers, wigeon, mallards, woodies, and geese.

Redonthehead, how was your season last year? Thanks.

Bryan














Edited by bryani289swmi (03/28/18 09:52 PM)

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#487890 - 03/29/18 09:46 AM Re: Spring duck migration [Re: bryani289swmi]
Redonthehead Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 190
Loc: Missouri
Originally Posted By: bryani289swmi

Redonthehead, how was your season last year? Thanks.

Bryan




We had an excellent early season, then it slowed due to very warm weather, got good again for a bit then we froze up solid for the last two weeks. Nice pics - do you hold that water all year? We try to drain the marshes in the summer so the weeds (aka duck food) will grow. We had it drained (~400 acres) last week but got a flood Monday and filled it back up.


Edited by Redonthehead (03/29/18 09:48 AM)
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#488011 - 03/31/18 08:37 PM Re: Spring duck migration [Re: DrLuke]
kswaterfowler Offline


Registered: 04/17/16
Posts: 57
Loc: East Central Kansas
I have been dumping corn on the edge of the pond since all seasons closed. Like watching the bwt and woodies with occasional sprigs and mallards sprinkled in. Last year was the worst duck season anybody here remembers. Need an ice eater before next December.

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#488012 - 03/31/18 09:06 PM Re: Spring duck migration [Re: DrLuke]
bryani289swmi Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 11/18/08
Posts: 161
Loc: SW Michigan
Redonthehead,

I am able to control the level of the pond, I can pull boards to lower it about 3' which I typically do around the middle of June. I usually plant Jap millet and may do some wild rice in the future as well. Thanks.

Bryan


Edited by bryani289swmi (04/01/18 08:41 PM)

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#488038 - 04/01/18 04:37 PM Re: Spring duck migration [Re: DrLuke]
bryani289swmi Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 11/18/08
Posts: 161
Loc: SW Michigan
Adding a few more pictures from today including blue winged teal and woodies hanging out together. Thanks.

Bryan






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#488060 - 04/02/18 08:40 AM Re: Spring duck migration [Re: DrLuke]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2479
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
I have an area where I would like to plant for the ducks and then flood next season for hunting. Leaving the big pond alone for a place the ducks could rest. There was a speaker I wanted to meet at the PBC but for some reason he did not make it. One of the reasons I went to the PBC. I think I have the perfect spot for a place to hunt and maybe raise some bg in that flooded area to add to the pond when its drained. We are training two new Golden Retriever pups right now!

Hay! Does anyone recall the name or contact number of the fellow who consults on such things as building marsh type areas and retrieving bg at the end of the duck seasons? I first heard of him at the PBC on Lake Ray Hubbard a few yrs ago. I would be interested in talking with him as a consultant or more.

We also had a great duck hunting season this year, best one in several years.


Edited by TGW1 (04/02/18 08:42 AM)
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#488069 - 04/02/18 11:17 AM Re: Spring duck migration [Re: DrLuke]
bryani289swmi Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 11/18/08
Posts: 161
Loc: SW Michigan
Howdy TW1,

I'm guessing you are talking about Dave Sefton. If I remember correctly he had some type of bug or virus and couldn't make it for his presenation last year. Below is what I had from my program summary.

10:50-11:10 Dave Sefton-Dave Sefton Excavating- Designing Waterfowl Havens: Building great habitats for feathered friends. Dave’s career came honestly…he comes from a line of earthmovers. With a passion for building ponds, he also takes pride in creating wetlands and waterfowl habitat. Enjoy his down-to-earth, practical hints for attracting your feathered friends on their way south.

I believe he also spoke previously at one of the conferences I attended. Probably can connect with him here on the forum, I believe he hails from Illinois. Good luck. Thanks.

Bryan

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#488109 - 04/03/18 08:25 AM Re: Spring duck migration [Re: DrLuke]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2479
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Thanks Bryan, I was going to corner him up at the conference but that did not happen. Ha, most likely saved me some money by him not being there lol. I have some bottom land that gets a lot of rain and we are real close to a big lake that gets a lot of ducks and would be nice to have a place to hunt them on my place. I can see it now lol. Wished he was closer to come look see. Maybe he will see this and give out a PM back to me. Or maybe Bob Lusk will have him on the Wed facebook some day. HINT HINT Mr Lusk smile

A side note, I did add some duck boxes to the pond and then I figured the larger lmb would or might just eat the baby ducklings so another reason for having other places for the ducks, where no lmb are living.


Edited by TGW1 (04/03/18 08:30 AM)
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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