Wood ducks were once the most prolific duck east of the Mississippi River, even outnumbering Mallards. In the mid to late 1800’s, the birds were harvested for their colorful plumage to be turned into ladies' hats in Europe. In addition to hunting, their breeding habitat was cleared for farmland. By the early 1900’s, the birds were nearing extinction.
In 1918, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act was established protecting many of the migratory waterfowl species in the US. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act placed limits on hunting and taking of many species of birds, including the wood duck. Combined with additional measures, like protecting nesting habitats, the wood duck populations began to rebound in the 1920’s. Artificial nesting boxes started to be developed in the 1930’s. By 1941, wood duck populations had rebounded enough that the federal hunting ban was lifted (though most states didn’t open a hunting season until after 1959).
On September 20, 2016, 60 people came together to build homes for local Wood Duck populations. 125 man hours were spent building 60 homes.
The homes started going up on September 24th. Three houses were placed along the North side of Wood Lake at Camp Tamarack. Six other homes will be placed on Lasalle Council camp property over the next two months. Two houses were placed at St. Patrick’s Park in South Bend.
The final 49 homes were donated to the members of local Ducks Unlimited chapters. These homes were placed at various properties throughout northern Indiana and southern Michigan. Please see the map for the rough locations of the wood duck homes that were built by Pack 561.
With the cooperation of the men and women who hung houses donated by us, we will do our best to keep this page updated, detailing how many ducks nest in our houses along with updated photos. Collecting this data will help show the boys that even though they are young and small, their efforts can have a lasting impact on the world around them.
If you want to build your own Wood Duck House, click here for plans.
A Special thanks to:
The plans for the houses came directly from Ducks Unlimited and the wood was graciously discounted from Lowe’s in Elkhart.
Participants learning about Wood Ducks
Setting the first nails
Many Cub Scouts brought their entire family to help.
Horizon's Girl Scout Troop 50116 came to help us build.
Scouts helping to move houses to trucks.
1 - 7