I have a 1/3-1/2 acre pond I dug in my backyard. There's a small island in the middle with cover, and the pond is about 30-40 feet from a heavily wooded natural drainage creek. The creek has some level of water always leading to a larger 10 acre lake in my community. I live on about 8 acres, the lower half of my property where the pond is is lightly to moderately wooded, the creek I have left completely natural, so in our area there is 1000 feet of 20-30 foot wide of heavy cover. The rest of the creek most of the neighbors have cleared.
Last fall I saw a pair of wood ducks take up morning residence in my pond. I placed two boxes, one on the north side of the pond, one on the south, both facing east, on the west side of the pond. (Our winds typically come from NW to SE or SE to NW). This spring, the pair laid 14 eggs in the northern box. I never saw them leave, but all the eggs hatched in the box. I never saw them again for the summer from when the eggs hatched sometime between when I checked the box from June 25-July 4.
Here's the great news, they are back! I have the original pair that have been coming back every morning and afternoon, and now they are joined by at least one male on the pond. Yesterday I saw at least 4 fly off of the creek.
Which brings me to my questions... is there anything I can do to add to the environment here that would be good for the wood duck family? I have 35 acres, however, only this area would likely be suitable for boxes. How many should I have in this area? Around the pond, away from the pond a bit near to the creek, how close is too close for the boxes if anyone knows?
I planted clover all along the creek in about a 20 foot wide stretch from the heavy brush where it clears, and all along the west side of the pond for the deer that pass through. I have no vegetation in the pond, would I be crazy to add something, or will it takeover? Since it seems this pair was (so far) able to raise potentially 2 or 3 of their young to adulthood, should I do nothing at all in the pond and area to cater to them?
Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated!