CSU's Oxbow Meadows Stages Georgia's Largest Wood Duck Preservation Project

Eighty wood duck boxes have been placed at Oxbow Meadows to preserve the wood duck's natural habitat, the largest preservation project in the state thus far.

The project is part of a state effort that has designated more than 1,500 boxes to preserve the wood duck's natural habitat since 1985.

The project is a cooperative waterfowl habitat project with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, CSU, city of Columbus, Columbus Water Works, Glock Firearms Co. and Ducks Unlimited.

Volunteers from the annual, October Help the Hooch campaign and local area boy scouts will clean out the boxes every winter and collect data as to how many wood duck boxes were inhabitated each season.

The wood duck boxes are constructed of rough-cut unfinished wood, which provides the ducks the ability to climb in and out of the designated hole. The main hole of the wood duck box is just large enough for wood ducks, but small enough to keep larger birds out. They also are surrounded with a predator guard to keep out snakes and raccoons. The boxes are filled with a 4-inch bottom layer of sawdust or wood shavings so that ducks nesting can keep eggs warm during incubation.

Traditionally the wood ducks nest in big hollow trees. In fact, the wood duck will not nest on the ground like other ducks, so the Oxbow boxes are on posts near low-lying wetlands where a number of invertebrates can be consumed by the wood ducks.

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Contact: Jim Trostle, (706) 697-4090; E-mail: trostle_jim@ColumbusState.edu