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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Artificial nest boxes are used by wood ducks Aix sponsa and lead to population growth in forests and wetlands in the southern USA

Published source details

Strange T.H., Cunningham E.R. & Goertz J.W. (1971) Use of Nest Boxes by Wood Ducks in Mississippi. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 35, 786-793


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Provide artificial nesting sites for wildfowl Bird Conservation

A before-and-after trial in a mixed forest and wetland site in Mississippi, USA (Strange et al. 1971), found that the population of wood ducks Aix sponsa in the study site increased dramatically following the installation of 253 nest boxes between 1966 and 1969 (average of 30-35 pairs in 1960-5 vs. 231 nest boxes used in 1969). Between 1966 and 1969, 15,273 eggs were laid in nest boxes, with 6,036 ducklings leaving nest boxes. In contrast, ten belt transects (20 m x 1,128-5,486 m) detected 27 natural nesting cavities, none of which were used by ducks. Hatching success was 67% in nest boxes, with 10% of eggs being predated in 1969. A further study at a wetland site in Louisiana, USA, found that, in 1969, 53% of 30 nest boxes erected were used by wood ducks, with 243 eggs laid, of which 47% hatched (34% were destroyed by predators).