Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wood Duck Box

The wood ducks are back, looking for nesting sites. I've been hearing them for a week, seeing them silhouetted on high horizontal branches early in the mornings. They discreetly examine all the holes, nooks and hollows in the old oaks. I only have this one house, Andersons to the north one or two, and Christiansens to the south another two. If you're a wood duck, this neighborhood, with it untrimmed trees and nesting boxes, is an upscale neighborhood.

The mounting board on this one rotted off and it spent the winter on the ground, housing deer mice. It started off  life as a large cedar power pole. Actually, I suppose it started life as a cedar tree, but it's second incarnation was the pole. When it was no longer of commercial value, Bill Lehman cut it into rough boards, and it became domesticated, spending a few years as a cedar fence around Laurie and Debb Sather's backyard. Wind and rot eventually converted the fence into a pile of boards behind their garage, where I was able to pick out a few good ones and knock this house together - 18" x 18" x 24". It did pretty well, hanging up there on the big oak for ten years or more, housing a series of wood ducks, squirrels and screech owls. With it's recent upgrade - a couple of new boards scavenged from Jeff Pleimling's old fence, a 2 x 4 mounting plate from a failed picnic table and cedar shingles left over from a tool shed project, I think we're ready for another ten years.

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