Wood Duck Nest
Box Project

The Annual Maintenance of Nest Boxes in the Rainbow Springs Aquatic Preserve

These pages document a highly successful wildlife project that was begun in 1994 as a cooperative effort between Florida Wildlife Conservation (FWC) and Rainbow River Conservation (RRC). The Rainbow Springs Aquatic Preserve got involved in the project in 2008 and continues its help and oversight to this day.

The project mission was to install nest boxes in suitable locations along Rainbow Run to encourage Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) to populate the river cooridor.

In the first year 35 boxes were installed, and soon thereafter the number increased to 47 and then 50 because of the success of the program. These boxes require extensive annual year-end maintenance by a core of dedicated volunteers.

Rainbow River Conservation estimates that since each nest annually produces approximately 9 ducklings, 50 nests have a potential for annually adding 450 wood ducks to the Preserve environment. RRC's detailed records show that the boxes have been more than 95 percent productive over the years.

Those pictured here include RRC volunteers (1) Jerry Rogers, who spear-headed the program, (2) Roger Barth and (3) Dan Rutkowski, and (4) Jeff Sowards, Manager of the Rainbow Springs Aquatic Preserve. These four volunteers spent two days on the river in December doing what equally dedicated volunteer teams have been doing every year for the last 20 years.

These photos show you what is involved in the annual maintence process:



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Florida Fish & Wildlife Service

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Life History & Habitat Needs of the Wood Duck

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Wood Duck Guide

Animal Diversity Web - Wood Duck Facts






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