Checked with DNR - Wisconsin
and Minnesota They recommend using 4" pipe for nesting
versus a wooden box which allows predators to get hold of the
wooden house while trying to fish out the eggs. These pipe nests
are approx. 12" deep from entrance - which is much longer
than any racoon front leg. (egg eaters)
Very difficult to hang onto slippery pipe with 3 feet and fish out eggs.
Duck pipe nests for ducks
that live in trees? Yes, a few ducks do nest in trees on a
regular basis, and these include the Bufflehead, Wood Duck,
Goldeneyes and Mergansers. These ducks commonly nest in tree
cavities, which makes them good candidates for man-made habitats.
They are incapable of excavating a cavity to live in as a
woodpecker might, so they search for an existing hole ... and a
rather large one at that. Their acceptable cavities are fewer
than ever, making them quite dependent on human benefactors.
Young forests, and those without woodpeckers or flickers, will
not have cavities suitable for ducks.
The Wood Duck is
commonly found throughout the eastern half of the US, in the
Upper MidWest on both sides of the Mississippi flyway - all the
way to Louisiana, Alabama area
and in the Northwest from Washington - Oregon to Northern California. One of our most colorful waterfowl, the Wood Duck, has been a victim of loss of habitat, causing serious nesting problems. The cutting of forests and drainage of swamps, as well as hunting, left Wood Duck populations at a seriously low level early in this century.
During the 1930s and 1940s
a conservation effort was begun. Hunting was stopped, and nesting
boxes were put up to enable the Wood Duck to recover. This effort
was highly successful, and today the population is once again
The Wood Duck, appropriately
for its name, lives in woodland ponds and streams bordered by
forests. In these secluded areas, a canoeist may come upon one
swimming ahead of the canoe. If they are startled, they sound
their characteristic "oo-eek" whistle and disappear
into the woods.
The Wood Duck breeds April
through July. Its nest is made of wood chips lined with feathers
from the female's breast. She lays 11 to 14 eggs which incubate
27 to 30 days. The little hatchlings spend only a day in their
nest. After hatching in the nesting pipe, they hear their mother
calling outside the nest. They climb up the inside of the pipe
(wire cloth ladder built into each nest pipe) and, while they can
barely walk and cannot fly, they jump out to mother waiting on
the ground. They fall through the air, sometimes as much as 60
feet to the water or after onebounce follow their mother to the
water, where she can better protect them from predators.
This fall seems to never
hurt them. And they are quite capable of feeding themselves after
this first day. Mother's only job is to protect them.
The Wood Duck does not bring
nesting material to the nests. They merely line them with down
and breast feathers.