Wood Duck

Nest box Plan and Information

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Wood Duck
© Mike Dec
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Nesting Range

Wood Duck Range Source: BNA Online

Nesting Habitat

  • Forest
  • Lake
  • Marsh
  • River

Attach Nest Box To

  • Pole
  • Post

Known Nesting Period

Not Nesting
Some Nesting Occurence
Nesting in Most of Range
Source: BNA Online

Nest Box Placement

Nest Height:

6–30 feet

Minimum Spacing:

600 feet


Toward Water

Nest Box Measurements

Entrance Hole:

3" high x 4" wide



Width & Length:


9 1/4"

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Helpful Tips

  • Mount the box so that it leans forward slightly to shed rain.
  • Boxes can be installed on posts or poles in the water, at least 3 feet above the high water mark, facing south or west.
  • If installing on land, choose a site within 100 feet from the water with no branches around the entrance hole. Predator guards should be installed.
  • Place 4 inches of wood shavings in box floor.
  • Make sure the box has a fledgling ladder under the entrance hole. This can be a strip of 1/4 inch mesh hardware cloth stapled to the inside, or you can roughen a one-foot-deep section under the entrance hole with a chisel so the young ducklings can get a toehold while climbing up to the entrance.
  • Wood Duck is the only North American duck that regularly produces 2 broods in 1 breeding season. Clean out old nesting material and replace with fresh wood shavings after a brood is complete in case of a second nest attempt.
  • Cavity-nesting ducks frequently lay eggs in the nests of other ducks. To reduce the likelihood of brood parasitism, which can lead to abandonment, avoid clustering nest boxes together. Monitor for brood parasitism (indicated by unusually large clutches of 14 or more eggs, or different colored eggs), and if necessary, move boxes farther apart.
  • Cedar works well for constructing Wood Duck nest boxes. Avoid using plastic boxes as they can overheat.
  • Monitor nest boxes in the early evening, when hens tend to leave the nest to forage.