Wood Duck Nest Boxes
Roger Strand, a founding member of the Prairie Pothole Chapter, is a nationally recognized authority on wood ducks and nesting structures. He has spent years observing wood duck nesting practices on Stoney Ridge Farm and has refined these observations into some best practices. These include mounting the nesting box on a pole instead of high in a tree. The use of predator guards to protect nesting hens. The proper placement of wood duck nesting structures in the landscape. Advantages of these best practices include easier maintenance , no ladders required, and better predator protection. Placing nesting structures in trees requires ladders and they can never by adequately protected from predators. Rogers best practices approach simplifies your life while ensuring nest box protection. While the predator guard provides protection from the ground it is important to recognize that predators can reach the nesting box from adjacent trees and limbs, so it is important to maintain at least a 8-10 foot zone around each box. More information about wood ducks and nesting structures can be found on the wood duck society web site.
Building a Wood Duck Box
Upcoming Events in 2013
- Youth Shoot - July 2013
- Prairie Pothole Day - September 7th, 2013
- MWA State Events - State Calendar
Troy Heck - Citizen of the Year 2013
Troy Heck, the current President of the Prairie Pothole Chapter of MWA, was honored at the State Banquet for his focus and dedication to habitat restoration, public outreach and education, and drive to continue the mission of the Chapter.
Prairie Pothole Chapter Recognized
For the first time in the history of the Minnesota Waterfowl Association a local group was voted 'Chapter of the Year' two years in a row. The Prairie Pothole Chapter received this recognition at the State MWA Awards Banquet on Saturday, February, 2, 2013. The Chapter was recognized for it's ongoing efforts to protect and enhance wetland habitats in West Central Minnesota, meeting and exceeding fundraising goals, engaging families and youth in habitat projects throughout the year, and for continuing to the engage the public through the Prairie Pothole Day event.
There are some 120 species of duck, representing a wide variety of shapes, sizes and behaviors. Some are noisy and gregarious, others shy and elusive. They are familiar animals we think we know. But most of us don’t really know these phenomenal, sophisticated creatures at all. This program follows a wood duck family as a male and female create a bond, migrate together across thousands of miles, nurture and protect a brood of chicks, then come full circle as they head to their wintering grounds. An Original DUCKumentary premiered November14, 2012. (Video limited to US & Territories).
Minnesota Legacy Grant Projects
A website was created by the Minnesota Legislature to help citizens monitor how dollars from the Legacy Amendment and the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund are being invested in the state. The following link will take you to the website so you can explore the projects that have been completed so far...
NAWMP Action Plan
Prairie Pothole Day 2012
The 30th annual Prairie Pothole Day was a tremendous success with friends and family learning about the environment, playing outdoor games, and raising funds to protect and restore habitat. The Prairie Pothole Chapter worked diligently to make this 30th anniversary special and that effort was appreciated by the roughly 4,500 to 5,000 folks who visited Stoney Ridge Farm.
The major seminar attractions this year were the Gould Brothers shooting exhibition and Steve Porter's Whitetail Trophy seminars. What many on the Committee didn't know when Steve pulled in on Friday with a 30' trailer was that he had three live trophy whitetail for folks to appreciate. Likewise, many on the committee were a bit unprepared for the grand finale of the Gould Brothers exhibition when they wrapped up with some large pyrotechnics. While the committee may have been caught unawares the family and friends attending the seminars were thrilled.
Additionally, Chad Hines from Willow Creek Kennel put on a wonderful seminar on the use of e-collars for our canine hunting companions and Josh Holdon from Wild Wind Kennels discussed how to train retrievers and tune them up for the upcoming season. While Josh and Chad led seminars on how to tune-up our canine companions Scott Threinen from Molt Gear let two calling seminars and discussed the finer points of how and when to use your duck and goose calls.
Prairie Pothole Day 2012 was an all around success with improvements in the shooting games out back, raffles, and educational opportunities. These combined to bring over 4,500 folks out to celebrate the 30th annual Prairie Pothole Day.
Habitat Projects Update
The Prairie Pothole Chapter is celebrating 30 years of habitat restoration, preservation, and restoration in the pothole region of West Central Minnesota. Working with other conservation groups the Chapter supported the development of the Randall Johnson and Kevin Foley Project as well as a larger acquisition project organized by the MWA State Office.
The Chapter also helped fund a Boys Scouts of America Merit Badge Pilot Project that targeted invasive species on wetlands in the Litchfield area. If successful not only will invasive red cedars be removed from native prairie sites but a new merit badge will be created.
The Prairie Pothole Chapter of the MWA has spent the last 30 years raising funds and performing habitat projects but has spent little time advertising those efforts. This will change when a project at the State Office is completed later this year. Working in conjunction with a GIS consultant all the projects ever funded or worked on by MWA are being organized and entered into a database that will be available so you can see the groups impact on habitat restoration and conservation in Minnesota.
Hawk Eye Nature Cam
The Prairie Pothole Chapter has been building, maintaining, and documenting wood duck nesting structures for 30 years in West Central Minnesota. While it is fun to check the nest boxes after the chicks have hatched improvements in camera technology now allow you to watch what is happening inside the cedar boxes. The Hawk Eye Nat Camera is an excellent way to keep an eye on the happenings in your nest boxes. The Chapter is working with Birdhouse Spy Cam out of West Linn, Oregon to supply these cameras in Minnesota. You can learn more about the camera's by following the link to Birdhouse spy cam. If you are interested in a camera for your own project please contact Troy Heck at 320-905-5451.
Wood Duck Boxes
Where can I buy a wood duck box? That's usually the question that members of the Prairie Pothole Chapter of the Minnesota Waterfowl Association hear after folks discover Predator Guards. Recognizing the interest in wood duck nesting boxes the chapter has added them to our 'online' store. Now interested parties can purchase nesting boxes and guards together. Once assembled users can mount the nesting box and predator guard on a post or timber following Roger Strand's best practices. Properly located the nesting box and predator guard provide a safe nesting cavity for wood ducks. To learn more about the placement or nesting boxes and to place an order please go to the Wood Duck Boxes and Guards web page.
Wood Duck Predator Guards
The Prairie Pothole Chapter of the Minnesota Waterfowl Association has been building and maintaining wood duck nesting boxes for the past 28 years. Roger Strand, a founding member of the chapter, is a nationally recognized authority on wood duck structures and has developed a best practices approach to helping wood ducks nest safely. A key component of these practices is to protect the nesting hen from predation. A predator guard below the nesting box provides this protection.
Prairie Pothole began working with a local contracting firm to cut and assemble predator guards for members and our annual habitat day. The guards have become increasingly popular and the contractor has asked the chapter to assume responsibility for ordering and answering any questions about nesting structures. You can learn more about Roger's best practices and order your own guards by going to the Predator Guard page.