On Sunday, February 17, 2013, Central Wisconsin Fur, Fin, & Feather (CWF3) braved the cold weather and deep snow to clean wood duck houses on the Sportsman Lake in Owen, WI. We were joined by a number of volunteers including Chad Klabon of the Black River Sportsman’s Club.
Nearly 14 wood duck houses are currently placed in various locations throughout the Sportsman Lake area based on ‘best-practice’ recommendations from a local DNR biologist. Each year after the nesting season has passed, the CWF3 board will go out to the lake and clean out the old bedding in the houses a replace with fresh woodchips to allow for a new family of wood ducks to use the houses when they fly back in the spring. These houses require attention each year and the CWF3 board has been cleaning out and maintaining the houses since 2010.
This year, all of the duck houses had some sign of usage—mostly by Mergansers. Most of the houses had multiple hatches—all nests had signs of a successful early hatch; however, there were a number of nests that had un-hatched eggs from a later hatch.
CWF3 looks forward to expanding the number of duck houses on the lake in the upcoming year. Board member, Don Beyer, is working on a prototype that will allow for easier woodchip cleanout that we plan to begin installing this fall and next winter.