Decades ago when I had my pond dug and in the spring it first filled with water, I saw some unusual looking ducks swimming around it in. I didn’t know what the spectacular-looking fowls were, so grabbed my bird book, looked them up, and discovered they were wood ducks. It was quite a treat to have such exotic looking ducks as my first arrivals.
Many wood ducks started using my pond, one fall evening I counted 41 of them swimming around out there. I learned that wood ducks were tree-cavity nesters, so I got some wood duck nesting boxes which I put on trees around the pond, and while most of the wood ducks were just migrating through, over those early years, I had a handful of them mate and use the nest boxes. It was thrilling to see the tiny balls of fluff, which is how the ducklings looked like, jump from the high nesting boxes, to their encouraging mother below.
For years the wood ducks returned to my pond, then suddenly, none came and for about 10 years I didn’t see any wood ducks at all, and heard of none being in the Valley.
Three years ago, when a pair of ducks flew off from my pond, they sure sounded like wood ducks, but they were too far away to identify. Last year from a distance, I was pretty sure I saw two wood ducks on the pond, before they flew away.
Two days ago, I saw three wood ducks swimming around in my pond. I was amazed that they didn’t fly off, because they are usually very skittish. Those first wood ducks that came to my pond, used to fly away whenever I peaked around the house, which is 75 yard (68 meters) away.
Wood ducks are magnificent looking ducks and it is so nice to have them return. The nesting boxes are still up, so I hope some will nest here again.
|Two males and a female.|
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