Wood Duck Boxes at Montgomery 2023

Wood Duck Box Cleanout at Montgomery

On Friday, October 13, 2023, the Montgomery Committee performed our usual fall maintenance on the two Wood Duck boxes we have at the F.H. Montgomery Wildlife Sanctuary. The boxes are cleaned out and new wood shavings are added. There is always a bit of suspense ahead of opening the boxes.

The boxes are mounted fairly high up on a pole with a predator guard.

wood duck box on pole
Wood Duck Box
open box on the ground

Each mounting pole is unlocked and then it swings down so that the box can be opened and cleaned.

The first box we opened had a large amount of fluffy down in with the wood chips.

The egg shells look like predation might have occurred, since normally we find membranes and shell fragments broken up by the ducklings moving around just before they leave the nest.

down pile on ground
egg shells
Egg Shells

At the second box we discovered that there had been two different residents over the summer.

There was some trepidation in removing the Yellowjacket nest, but it had already been fully vacated.

An owl pellet and feathers were obvious clues as to the second resident. There is a reason that Blue Jays are not fond of owls.

hand holding a wasp nest
Yellowjacket Nest
owl pellet and feathers
Owl Pellet

This year was missing some of the excitement of two previous years, when a surprised occupant went for an unexpected ride.

owl inside wood duck box
Screech Owl 2015
Screech Owl goes for a ride 2019