The Maryland Wood Duck Initiative is an all-volunteer wildlife conservation effort started in late 2004. Our objectives are to enhance Maryland’s wood duck population and to generate a greater appreciation of the wetland habitats in which they live by advocating and demonstrating the merits of a “best practices” approach in managed nest programs.
Leveraging these focused efforts on the wood duck, we seek to provide a Total Wetlands Experience for our volunteers and the “next generation” through the development of complementary educational programs, internships and research projects.
Unfortunately, MWDI does not have any remaining wood duck lumber available to provide either kits or boxes. Predator guards are available year round. As this effort is a cost based service, MWDI does not retain inventory but we do plan to continue the program! Look for a notice to be emailed and posted on the website in November 2019 but please send us your indications of interest at any time.
Montgomery County Girl Scout Troop #3989, aka "Caitlin's
Outdoor Adventures" take the prize for their wood duck box assembly work
and enthusiasm holding two separate events in 2018 as part of their chapter
meetings. They also are commended for the most elaborate box decorations we
have seen in some time!!!
Wood ducks are already steaming through Maryland and nesting activity has been reported in a few sites. With the excessive rain and water levels, habitat is likely in excellent shape. This situation also hampered production – actual and that we were able to count - in 2018 as several nests and several boxes were lost, especially along the Patuxent River. Our last 2018 nest checks will be completed in a few weeks and we’ll be publishing the 2018 production survey shortly thereafter.
Presently, MWDI is concentrating on distributing boxes and predator guards to both public and private sites. Our annual lumber cut day was successfully completed in late January at the Millington WMA site involving lumber for more than 170 nesting boxes including 82 boxes destined for private nesting programs and 30 bluebird boxes. 25 kits have been delivered to a Millersville Girl Scout Troop for assembly and other similar events are pending. Pole salvage at one highway department yard is planned next week. Special thanks to the Chesapeake Chapter of the Safari Club, Maryland DNR’s Wildlife & Heritage Service and the Patuxent State Park for their continuing financial support for our lumber purchases and various supplies.
The relationship with Phoenix Metals continues to be great. We note that private program sponsors continue to add predator guards at a more rapid pace than boxes which is a tangible “best practices” enhancement that will benefit overall Maryland production. With the benefit of some nationwide publicity MWDI was able to obtain for Phoenix, they have sold AND SHIPPED over 1,000 predator guards nationwide!
MWDI has supplies for new public projects if you wish to initiate one. We are currently evaluating a project along Langford Creek in Kent and Plum Creek in Wicomico Counties although most of our new boxes are destined for replacements in existing sites. We review site habitat, assist box location and train volunteers but you must have a project manager identified to monitor the project after installation. New sites on private lands also continue to grow and MWDI is assisting in various ways.
As always, a huge “thank you” to our dedicated volunteers for helping to make a difference.
Maryland Wood Duck Initiative
580 Taylor Ave, Annapolis MD 21401