On Saturday, march 2nd, Gilman students Tommy Biddison, Ian Goldman, and R.J. Mingo travelled with their teacher to the Hog Island Gun Club in Preston. They installed six new nesting boxes around impoundments and creeks. The boys also cleaned and performed routine maintenance on a number of preexisting boxes. Situated along the Choptank River, Hog Island is believed to have the second most productive privately sponsored nesting program in Maryland. Gilman students will also be assembling nesting boxes for MWDI and the first load of kits is to be delivered March 8. Thank you John and Gilman!
MWDI volunteers & MD DNR staff prepare wood duck & bluebird nest box kits!
On January 31, MWDI was assisted by several Wildlife & Heritage Service staff at the Millington WMA office cutting cypress into ~50 wood duck box kits to be assembled at MWDI's youth events and then utilized on various public nesting sites. The group also created 30 bluebird box kits ordered by Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage for their programs. Additional lumber was delivered sufficient to make 82 nest boxes by privately sponsored wood duck programs. This annual event takes about 1/2 day and has resulted in more than 2,000 nesting boxes or kits being prepared over the years.
Special thanks to MD DNR staff Ryan Haley (Manager - Millington WMA), Robbie Burrowes, Rick Walls, Anthony Radmer, Josh Homyack, Wade Bradford and Chris Keiser and MWDI volunteers Cliff Brown, John Chew, Scott Jaison, John Notorangelo and David Holyoke!
Salvage specialists Cliff Brown, Ron Kuipers and Ryck Lydecker spent the better part of a day culling and cutting 50 discarded street sign poles into 6 1/2 - 7 foot lengths to support our nesting boxes and predator guards. Ron - who is on the Board of Directors and a very active volunteer for the Maryland chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation - introduced MWDI to the use of these poles many years ago. He and Ryck - President of the Montgomery County Issak Walton Chapter - have been MWDI's crew for years!
The pole is driven down to insure a secure position and a minimum 4 foot distance from the ground to the bottom of the predator guard lip. Using a typical 32" 2x4 wood stub section bolted to the top of the pole (once driven into the ground), MWDI screws a 6" 2x4 piece to create a pseudo 4x4 in the middle to attach the predator guard. Then, the nest box is bolted to the upper section of the wood extension, causing the side door opening to be about 5-5 1/2 feet off the ground. The 2x4 can be lengthened as necessary to achieve the proper predator guard and box height if necessary due to soft ground or varying water depths.
580 Taylor Ave, Annapolis MD 21401