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.
Data collection relating to the 2017 nesting season has now been adequately completed and the Statewide Annual Report is in preparation. Publication by May 1 is anticipated.
2018 nesting activity appears to be very robust! Two large sites have documented a significant increase in nesting – whether this is an early compressed start or indicative of a strong winter survival and/or local recruitment gains remain to be determined. Late winter and early spring weather has been wet and habitat is very good shape. With the increase in new projects started last year for this nest season, another year of production gains could be in the offing!
MWDI concluded its annual lumber procurement and box sale in February with approximately 90 box kits prepared for MWDI sites and about 100 kits and boxes obtained by various private sector programs. In addition, 66 bluebird kits & boxes were provided – this helps MWDI keep our lumber transport costs down for SC cypress. Contact MWDI to be notified about next year’s program. This program is the most cost-effective way to obtain high quality wood, kits or assembled houses for your nesting program.
Our direct relationship with Phoenix Metals has been great. Not only was the cost per predator guard lowered to $14, the increased publicity they have received via MWDI and the Wood Duck Society has resulted in more than 350 guards being ordered in many states. Boxes without guards are basically death traps for the eggs and in some cases the hens and they are a relatively minor cost increment to the box itself.
Two box assembly events have already occurred – one at Gunston School in Queen Anne's County and the other at a Senior Living Center sponsored by the Prince George's County Park Rangers.
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 identified 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