migration question

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migration question

Postby don taylor » Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:59 pm

Do ducks fly the same route year to year as they migrate.? What I really want to know is if I go through the ordeal of raising birds to plant at local ponds, will they come back next year? Is it likely that they would return with friends? I have a great goose spot that holds lots of geese and a few ducks. I don't shoot ducks now and I'm the only one who hunts this 12 acre flooded strip mine. I'm building wood duck boxes. Do wood ducks just happen to find them? All I see is mallards there. Are they going to sit vacant? What else can I do? What can I do to get more migrators in? I'm willing to not hunt this area for years to help bolster a population. I'm thinking long term. Suggestions?
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Postby h2ofwlr » Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:28 pm

Usually the young will imprint and return to the general area. But if say a drought happens, they will go find more suitable nesting and feeding conditions elsewhere.

Migrators like food, and if the pond in deep, that is a problem as puddle ducks (Mallards, woodies, etc... like shallow water, 2' or less is norm. they love 6" deep water it seems as the food source is avaiable. You may consider planting sago pond weed, etc... in the spring. Check with a place that sells it like Wildlife Nurseries and other COs.
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Postby olddkguide » Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:52 am

Thinking long term is exactly what you need to do. If you know you will be able to hunt this area over a long period of time then invest in it. I've got several places that I've spent a lot of time and money on but they have really paid off. Woodduck boxes are great to start building a resident flock of birds with. Be sure to place the boxes in shallow areas, several things you need to know on this. Read other post or pm me, glad to share info. Planting crops is a short term fix, there are better solutions. Sounds like a good location that can just get better.
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Postby olddkguide » Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:52 am

Thinking long term is exactly what you need to do. If you know you will be able to hunt this area over a long period of time then invest in it. I've got several places that I've spent a lot of time and money on but they have really paid off. Woodduck boxes are great to start building a resident flock of birds with. Be sure to place the boxes in shallow areas, several things you need to know on this. Read other post or pm me, glad to share info. Planting crops is a short term fix, there are better solutions. Sounds like a good location that can just get better.
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Postby IndyWingmaster » Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:53 pm

Don, the thing about wood ducks is that they are cavity nesters, which usually means that areas with large trees over water are capable of being cavity trees are preferred. This is usually rare to find in strip mined lands. However this can be overcame. I would suggest planting trees such as swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor) and pin oak (Quercus palustris) around some of the flooded area. Acorns are highly preferred and if you buy 3 gallon container trees of these oaks they can produce seeds within 10 years. Also consider planting buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) in water from 4 inches above the water surface down to 12 inches below. You can usually get these from native plant nurseries as bare root trees. Wood ducks really like the buttonbush for cover as well as for forage. In addition I would recommend some other wetland plants including arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia), Bur reed (Sparganium spp.), and sedges (Carex sp.). These can be planted or mudseeded from 0" to 4" in depth and they will expand there territory on their own. That should be a good start. Then add wood duck nesting boxes on posts around the body of water, but making sure that they are over the water so the young ducklings can splash down safely in the water below and not on the hard bank.
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