Question about nest boxes for Wood and Mandarin ducks.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jsvand5, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. jsvand5

    jsvand5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2009
    Ocala, FL
    Last weekend I built 4 nestboxes for my mandarins, woods, and hooded mergansers. They are 12" deep x 12" wide x 24" tall with a 4 inch circular opening. They are in a predator proof enclosure so I didn't think the oval opening was necessary. I used 3/4" plywood because the 12" wide pine or cedar solid boards at Lowes were so expensive. Because I used Plywood I painted the boxes with a white exterior grade latex paint. Will the paint cause any issues with the birds using the boxes? Should I paint a second coat of a more earthtone color? I am not sure wether or not ducks can even see in color so any help is appreciated. Also, I have two pairs of mandarins, one pair of woods, and one pair of hoodeds. Should I add another nestbox or two or should the 4 be adequate? I do probaly have enough wood for another box, but I was worn out after finishing the first 4 and got lazy.
     
  2. 1lpoock

    1lpoock Spruce Creek Waterfowl

    Apr 20, 2009
    Sandusky, Ohio
    First of all, how old are your mergansers? Also, I dont think the oval shaped hole is to prevent from predators, it is just used to better conform to the ducks body shape...the entrance hole on our boxes is 3" tall by 5" wide. I dont think the white color will affect the birds at all but you may just want to paint it a different color to better match the surrounding....up to you ....here is a pic of our boxes.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. jsvand5

    jsvand5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2009
    Ocala, FL
    The mergansers were hatched in 08. The male has been doing his mating display for a few weeks now. Do you think a 4" round opening will cause a problem? Most of what I see online shows a 4" x 3"or 3 1/2" opening. I didn't have a skil saw saw I just used a 4" hole cutting bit with my drill. I guess if it will cause an issue I could cut a piece with a different sized opening and just laminate it over the original front piece. Do you think the 4 boxes are enough or should I add another 1 or 2?
     
  4. 1lpoock

    1lpoock Spruce Creek Waterfowl

    Apr 20, 2009
    Sandusky, Ohio
    Because mergansers are second year breeders you are going to want to add more this year. For 4 pairs you should have 8 or so boxes, but you can probably get away with just two more. Also, i think a four inch hole will be alright.
     
  5. jsvand5

    jsvand5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2009
    Ocala, FL
    Duplicate post edited
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  6. jsvand5

    jsvand5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2009
    Ocala, FL
    Thanks for the info. Looks like another weekend project.
     
  7. giffy

    giffy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 2, 2008
    14108
    The white should be fine, don't paint the inside of the box. Remember some drain holes through the bottom and ramps if your birds are pinioned...........some type of ladder up the inside for the ducklings to leave nest..........4-6 inches of clean pine shavings. 4 boxes with 4 breeding pair is pushing it, if you have the wood I would build another. Try to keep them separated if possible.

    http://www.giffsfarm.com/woodducks.html

    Wood duck nest video & photos

    giffy
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  8. jsvand5

    jsvand5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2009
    Ocala, FL
    I have the boxes set up right I think. Hardware cloth up the front, inside is not painted, drainage holes in the bottom, and the pine shavings in the box. I am thinking they seem a bit big but quite a few of the plans online said the dimensions I went with. The 12" x 12" area looks big to me but I am guessing it works. I do think I still have to add some ramps. The woods and Mandarins winds were clipped for shipping. I only mounted the boxes about a foot off of the ground but that still puts the opening about 2 1/2' above the ground. I will raise the boxes for next season when all of the flight feathers have grown back. The Hoodeds are not clipped so I have one box about 4 ft high.
     

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