Tuesday, March 7th– Against a sky colored the trademark New England overcast gray, two wood ducks fly overhead, their high chatter resonating over the open water at Riverbend. Their presence seems like a good omen for the task at hand; putting up a new wood duck box.
Having figured out the logistics of transporting the box and ladder down the hill from Ipswich River Watershed Association headquarters to the water, it was time to find the spot.
For wood ducks, the primary rule of real estate still applies: location, location, location! What are potential renting waterfowl looking for? Ideally, boxes should be mounted well out of reach of predators on a tree not more than 100 feet from the water. They should have a clear flight path to the water and they prefer to have nearby spots to perch. Human house hunters in the area likely have their hearts set on real wood floors; ducks, too, like wood underfoot, in the form of wood-shavings to keep their eggs warm during incubation.
Volunteer Don Ruzecki found an ideal spot. The leaf cover that will soften any future duckling landings whispered underfoot as he adjusted the ladder amidst the surrounding briar bushes. A slight drizzle persisted during the operation, a pair of geese floated by with loud commentary, and there was some concern over emerging ticks. When Don stepped down from the ladder, the success of the adventure washed away these concerns. As the ladder was brought back up the hill, left behind at the water’s edge was a hope for spring.
Come and see our new wood duck house at our Riverbend headquarters!