My friend Elliott gave me a glimpse inside of an occupied wood duck box today!

 

Pond Photo by John Falcon

You have probably seen these boxes around ponds or near rivers across southwest Louisiana; they are specifically set near bodies of water to attract wood ducks.

Elliott makes these boxes out of reclaimed cypress boards and, as with everything he does, the boxes are made to specification. Who sets the parameters as to how a wood duck box is properly constructed? Well, the wood ducks do, of course!

Wood Duck Box Photo By John Falcon

Over time, people who make the boxes for the ducks to roost/nest in have learned exactly what the ducks like: from the size of the box and the distance from the surface of the water to the size of the entrance hole, the ducks are particular!

Elliott staples a bit of wire mesh to the inside of the box, from the floor up to the entrance. This wire mesh gives the ducklings something to use as a ladder to reach the hole once they are ready to venture from the nest.

Inside the box that we opened, a wood duck hen was sitting on about 20 eggs. She did hiss at us when we opened the box to peer in, but did not exit the box. Like a good little mama, she didn't want to leave those eggs unprotected!

Wood Duck Box Photo By John Falcon