The Maryland Wood Duck Initiative is an all-volunteer wildlife conservation effort started in late 2004. Our objectives are to enhance Maryland’s wood duck population and to generate a greater appreciation of the wetland habitats in which they live by advocating and demonstrating the merits of a “best practices” approach in managed nest programs.
Leveraging these focused efforts on the wood duck, we seek to provide a Total Wetlands Experience for our volunteers and the “next generation” through the development of complementary educational programs, internships and research projects.
Purchase lumber for public projects to provide wholesale pricing to private program
sponsors. The lumber cost component reflects MWDI’s expected direct costs for wood, shipping and waste. MWDI has made arrangements to have the wood cut into kits or assembled into boxes if preferred. The costs are the same as 2017. Click here for details.
Montgomery County Girl Scout Troop #3989, aka "Caitlin's
Outdoor Adventures" take the prize for their wood duck box assembly work
and enthusiasm holding two separate events in 2018 as part of their chapter
meetings. They also are commended for the most elaborate box decorations we
have seen in some time!!!
Despite early season gains and encouragement at two large sites, the tally elsewhere has been poor involving about 50% of the nest boxes. Counts are not finalized but the overall yield may indicate the most significant drop in production recorded by MWDI – an 8-12% decline. Habitat has been very good but the drop in total eggs being laid and
the increased level of nests failures at modest – moderate clutch sizes is baffling.
My optimism for the final 2017 production summary was also misplaced as the total hatch dropped 1.5% to 7,746 from7,863 instead of exceeding 8,000 as projected. Production was from 117 sites involving 1,775 boxes. New sites the past two years while showing moderate performance have been below expectations but this only accounts for a portion of the decline as final reports from a host of smaller projects were also below expectations. The annual survey routinely includes a drop in production from old sites where supervision has been lacking. Gains elsewhere were insufficient or non-existent to offset these estimated reductions.
The relationship with Phoenix Metals continues to be great. We note that private program sponsors continue to add predator guards at a more rapid pace than boxes which is a tangible “best practices” enhancement that will benefit overall Maryland production.
Two additional box assembly events have been held since April and two additional ones are scheduled for this fall
at the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center and Maret School bringing MWDI’s
total to 6 this year.
MWDI has supplies for new public projects if you wish to initiate one. We will review site
habitat, assist box location and train volunteers but you must have a project
manager idetified to monitor the project after installation
As always, thank you to our dedicated volunteers for helping to make a difference.
Maryland Wood Duck Initiative
580 Taylor Ave, Annapolis MD 21401