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Re: Wood duck camera house
DrLuke #519505 04/17/20 02:50 PM
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I hadn’t been checking the website lately due to extensive travel for work since January 1, but the camera set up Dr. Luke has is excellent. We had bought one at the last Pond Boss conference auction but have never gotten it put up. Seeing the results from Dr. Luke’s may prompt me to install it this coming winter. I have 8 current boxes up, in most years past they have all been active. I haven’t had much time to watch the boxes since I flew back into town last Sunday but Grant said he’s seen activity in at least a few. Last night the kids also pointed out a goose that has been sitting on eggs since at least April 11 when they noticed it. I had some field tiling done very close to her nest, I was somewhat surprised she hadn’t been scared off. I think incubation is about 29 days for Canadian geese.
I usually try to face the openings south or south east but I don’t ever recall seeing a direction recommendation on this in any reading I’ve done. If they are placed on land it is recommended they face the water. I had seen woodies earlier this year in one of our plots of Japanese millet, I watched them foraging for some time. In the fall I’ve shot several woodies stuffed full of acorns, I could feel the acorns in their necks when I picked them up. We often jump woodies in the dry woods during the fall (we have lots of oaks) and I always thought it would be fun to hunt them on land like upland birds!
CC, I think it might be a good idea to try a box deeper in the woods. If you had a group of standing dead timber near the water that would be an ideal location. I’ve read that a clear, unobstructed flight path to the box is a key.
I have 4 boxes dropped off from a friend who went to the Macatawa Bay Duck Hunters Association banquet this year and I’ll be putting these up sometime. I have several 20’ sticks of new 3” stainless steel tubing I’m going to use for poles, I think it is smooth enough to keep anything from climbing up (free from work!). When adding some boxes by me the next locations will be on land.
All the boxes I have are wood, I just replace them when they get rotten but most of the time they seem to last around 10 years here. The plastic ones have all the slots for ventilation, the first models roasted several hens during testing. I think I had read after they found some dead hens they put a thermometer in one and recorded 130F. Thanks.

Bryan

Last edited by bryani289swmi; 04/17/20 02:53 PM.
Re: Wood duck camera house
bryani289swmi #519510 04/17/20 03:56 PM
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Glad you are enjoying the box cam Bryan! I spend way too much time "checking in" on the nest. Sure beats watching the news though.

I personally don't think the direction the box opening faces is critical. Mine are all set to face my house, for selfish reasons. I would probably avoid facing it in a direction where your worst storms come from, unless the box is shielded by it's location. The camera box actually faces northwest, which is a bad idea for my area. BUT, it's shielded by it's corner location in my pond.

I would recommend a predator guard for any shore boxes, regardless of pole size. They're pretty easy to make, or can be purchased. The company that makes the house with the camera sells predator guards too.

I have 3 plastic houses and 3 wooden houses up. All get used. My cedar house is weathering best, of the wood ones. Rest are pine scrap. Plastic ones seem to be unphased by the weather, so far.

I've enjoyed this camera box so much, I think I'll try to add more houses next year. They'll have to be Wi-Fi, but those cameras are available, with a solar pack. If I put a Wi-Fi range extender antenna on the roof of my house, I think it's possible.


Better to shun the bait than struggle in the snare.
- William Blake
Re: Wood duck camera house
DrLuke #519517 04/17/20 08:53 PM
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6:22pm on Friday night (IA time) and the nest is empty. Momma must be hungry. Really awesome to see this and watch it. I also am reminded (from my trips to IA so many times) how windy it is by you. You hear wind noise all the time. We are fortunate in W MI to have lots of trees and much less wind.

My boxes are facing East as winds almost always from the west. They both look at the pond, one is tipped SE. One is on a pole on the edge of the pond and perhaps a little more in the visible/traffic area, less trees around it. The other is up in a tree about 15' up and I have wrapped the tree for about 30" below the box with stovepipe as a predator guard. We only saw one pair of wood ducks briefly for one day and they were gone.

Further into the woods to the west there is lots of dead and live standing trees with lots of dead fall, leaves, Oaks, acorns etc. Lots of natural holes from Flickers and Pileated woodpeckers. I'll probably move the one on the pole back further in the woods and see what happens. I'll keep in mind the advice to see what the line of flight is from the pond.

Good to see you post Bryan, we all would love to hear more about how your pond caters to the waterfowl. You must have a generous boss to be giving out stainless steel 3" pipe in 20' sections, if you had to buy those would they be like $100 a stick? Glad to see you put them to good use!

Re: Wood duck camera house
canyoncreek #519525 04/18/20 12:29 AM
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Anybody else notice wood ducks around fish feeders? They seem to flock to them at my place sometimes.


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Re: Wood duck camera house
DrLuke #519528 04/18/20 06:50 AM
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Yep, they go right to the feeders but I was not sure if they were eating the feed or the small fish or both.


Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.


Tracy
Re: Wood duck camera house
anthropic #519535 04/18/20 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by anthropic
Anybody else notice wood ducks around fish feeders? They seem to flock to them at my place sometimes.

It seems like they have timed when my feeder is programmed to feed. They are waiting every morning, I think the wood ducks get more feed than the fish do.

Re: Wood duck camera house
DrLuke #519536 04/18/20 08:21 AM
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I saw this going on the other morning. Another hen got in the nest box, and was trying to drive the sitting hen out. No luck with that, but interesting to see.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


Better to shun the bait than struggle in the snare.
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Re: Wood duck camera house
DrLuke #519585 04/19/20 02:45 PM
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I have noticed them at my TH Hideaway feeder along with mallards, geese, turkeys,etc. The geese and mallards seem to be the most skilled being around at the morning and evening feeding times.

Dr. Luke, I did some testing this winter with the SS pipe and a feeder bird feeder on it. Many squirrels, raccoons, and opossums tried to climb it but were unsuccessful. I do have some 20” used disk blades from a friend of mine that I can use for a predator guard if needed. The pipe came from a prior project and had been sitting around for a couple years, it was going to get scrapped so I grabbed some (with permission of course).

I did find a goose nest today that didn’t make it, I was surprised how far along the chicks in the eggs were. Also found a pile of turtle shells that weren’t there a week or two back. Thanks.

Bryan

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eggs1.jpg (417.1 KB, 122 downloads)
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Re: Wood duck camera house
DrLuke #519626 04/20/20 01:06 PM
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Very cool Dr. Luke I have been following and it prompted me to build one to try. We may have gotten it out a little too late for this year. My helper and I finished it and installed on March 20th. We did have 2 pair visit our pond over the weekend. They come on occasion but I was hopeful however I assume now they have already nested.

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Thanks
Dave
1 acre pond.
Re: Wood duck camera house
Custom 68 #519634 04/20/20 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Custom 68
Very cool Dr. Luke I have been following and it prompted me to build one to try. We may have gotten it out a little too late for this year. My helper and I finished it and installed on March 20th. We did have 2 pair visit our pond over the weekend. They come on occasion but I was hopeful however I assume now they have already nested.


C68, don't give up hope. You may catch a late nester, or a hen that failed to get a hatch off the first go round. Plus, you may get a screech owl to use the box too. They can be seen perching in the door of the box, usually early in the morning for me.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
Screech owl looking up at Mr & Mrs Duck


Better to shun the bait than struggle in the snare.
- William Blake
Re: Wood duck camera house
DrLuke #519714 04/21/20 03:04 PM
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excellent. We will keep watching. I am not sure why my pictures are not showing up? I need to dig into that.
Thanks and that is also a cool picture.
Dave


Thanks
Dave
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Re: Wood duck camera house
DrLuke #520020 04/27/20 02:29 PM
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Love it. We have 4 or 5 pairs this year and they are presently using the hatch boxes I put in our adjoining swamp next to the pond.
Last year, we had 3 hens that had 18 total between them. We are hoping for a repeat performance this year. I just hope the eagle that has been showing up does not develop a taste for them. Great pics. Thanks for sharing.

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Re: Wood duck camera house
DrLuke #520518 05/05/20 07:03 AM
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Are we getting close to jump day, Dr. Luke?

Re: Wood duck camera house
canyoncreek #520523 05/05/20 07:33 AM
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Very close now! Any day actually, but within my family, our friendly game of "hatchling bingo" has me down for the 7th. 😁


Better to shun the bait than struggle in the snare.
- William Blake
Re: Wood duck camera house
DrLuke #520597 05/06/20 10:23 AM
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Duckling alert! Just saw first hatchling!


Better to shun the bait than struggle in the snare.
- William Blake
Re: Wood duck camera house
DrLuke #520598 05/06/20 10:25 AM
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Depending on how fast the whole clutch hatches, tomorrow might be jump out day


Better to shun the bait than struggle in the snare.
- William Blake
Re: Wood duck camera house
DrLuke #520601 05/06/20 11:03 AM
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Thanks for the update this is exciting. I haven't seen the hatchling on the web cam yet. See if you can get video from the outside to document the jumping, possible to get a live stream of that or if not post video when you can!

My kids' science teacher was surprised when he noticed a hen and 8 ducklings in the shallow swamp behind his house. He had put a wood duck house out in the swamp a few years ago but didn't know that it was being used this year! Must be that they hatched a day or so sooner than your brood. Hoping for a safe jump day and that the ducklings grow

How long do they stay on the pond before leaving?

Re: Wood duck camera house
DrLuke #520602 05/06/20 11:19 AM
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I have a video camera setup and waiting for jump out, and will upload the footage.

We do see the hen & chick "flotillas" cruising around the pond edges, but they are few and far between. Wood ducks are super secretive. We have seen them mature all the way to fledglings but not always.


Better to shun the bait than struggle in the snare.
- William Blake
Re: Wood duck camera house
DrLuke #520661 05/07/20 07:48 AM
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YAY!! lots of ducklings on the web cam today. Looks like they all hatched overnight. So exciting!

Re: Wood duck camera house
DrLuke #520694 05/07/20 05:29 PM
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So today was the day! We had 11 ducklings jump out between 1 and 1:15 pm. That's not typical (usually in the morning), but when the hen stuck her head out to "scout" around 9:15 am, she didn't call them out. Something must not have felt right, and I defer to a mother's intuition on that. I'll post a few still shots, but am working on the video right now. I'll put it up as soon as I can..finish learning how. 😏
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by DrLuke; 05/07/20 05:30 PM. Reason: Spelling

Better to shun the bait than struggle in the snare.
- William Blake
Re: Wood duck camera house
DrLuke #520695 05/07/20 05:34 PM
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Here's a shot of the ducklings in the box, waiting to be called out.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


Better to shun the bait than struggle in the snare.
- William Blake
Re: Wood duck camera house
DrLuke #520696 05/07/20 05:41 PM
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I already cleaned out and rebedded the box. I'm hoping for a second tenant, even if it's a screech owl.

Contents of the nest, in a plastic white tub: [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Egg remnants. The hen actually ATE most of the shells: [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Funky egg: [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


Better to shun the bait than struggle in the snare.
- William Blake
Re: Wood duck camera house
DrLuke #522470 06/13/20 09:58 PM
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So here is the jump out video..finally! Full disclosure, I asked my son to do it and he finally helped me out.
https://youtu.be/WXJdnqOLBzA


Better to shun the bait than struggle in the snare.
- William Blake
Re: Wood duck camera house
DrLuke #522471 06/13/20 10:01 PM
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AND...I have another tenant! I was happy to discover that another hen took up residence in the box and is brooding now. I estimate a first week of July jump out.
https://youtu.be/tviIGQoy63E


Better to shun the bait than struggle in the snare.
- William Blake
Re: Wood duck camera house
DrLuke #522479 06/14/20 08:25 AM
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Doc,

Nice work. We have nesters at our farm. and now that I will be getting an internet connection soon, I may be able to add cameras to the mix. Great work, very inspirational.


Brian

The one thing is the one thing
A dry fly catches no fish
Try not to be THAT 10%
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