Posts Tagged ‘wood ducks’

Kingfisher Pond

Fri ,06/04/2012

As the WOW program began to have a noticeable impact on Utah’s wood duck population, there became a greater demand placed on expanding the efforts to place the already successful artificial nesting cavities in areas that would become host to the programs pioneering hens. Having seen growth in dump nesting throughout the programs scattered sites, expansion was at the forefront of the WOW program interests. Additionally, we were starting to receive an increased interest in the WOW Eagle Scout Service Project (ESSP), which quickly began taking in nearly 12 boxes a month. In the summer of 2008, Jack Renzel, retired Directer of the Northern Region Division of Wildlife Resources office, and long time supporter to wood ducks and the WOW program, told me of a pond that was situated right in the heart of Weber County’s most robust wood duck habitat, named the Kingfisher Pond. Surrounded by a canopy of cottonwoods, this pond was a pearl. The pond is located just behind Fort Buenaventura which is adjacent to the Weber River. As these types of projects go, timing was everything. Several phone calls and a briefing of the success and intent behind this program, I was able to secure permission to proceed with the installation of a series of wood duck nesting boxes at Kingfisher Pond. At the same time, I was working with a local scoutmaster in Riverdale, with a young man in line to produce a dozen wooden boxes. In the spring of 2009, fifteen WOW program volunteers met on a rainy morning to help Corban ESSP #35, finish his Eagle Scout Service Project.

As volunteers began to sink the poles that support these boxes, we quickly came to realize that we were fighting a bed of large rock and liner at the base of the pond, making the boxes somewhat unstable. This left me very concerned as to the long term effects that seasonal driving wind and rain, along with winter’s shifting ice would have on these somewhat flimsy poles due to their footings. As it turns out, my concerns were valid, the elements began to take their toll and we lost a few boxes due to them losing stability and tipping over; staying ahead of this became a full time task and something had to be done. At the same time, nest usage took off, showing immediate nesting success in the first season. 2010 brought even more success with growth in boxes nested in there at Kingfisher. additionally, we discovered that one of the nesting hens was previously banded during Utah’s first wood duck banding effort, where 44 wood ducks were banded in 2009. Later in the 2010 nesting season, I discovered yet another banded hen nesting there on Kingfisher Pond.

As fate would have it, the banded hen was nesting in what is referred to as a pole-over-land. In theory, the galvanized poles render the boxes predator proof, but somehow the resident raccoon mastered the art of climbing the 2″ pole . The racoon’s constant harassment forced the hen to eventually abandon her nest. Even then, this raccoon continued working the box over, nearly destroying the box.


Over the next season, the local raccoon population had mastered the art and were now up and down these poles like a team of electrical linemen. To make matters worse, the high waters caused by spring run off in 2011 left us unable to respond to the needs of many of the project areas, so the remaining boxes on Kingfisher Pond were effected by this 100 Year high run-off. Once the water levels receded, it became apparent that we needed to re-engineer this nesting project. To the drawing boards I went devising a plan that would work in the given habitat. Later that summer i was contacted by a young man and his scout leader looking for a suitable ESSP; I told them have we got a deal for you. Late that fall, Cameron Cox ESSP #74, completed his project, providing us with the perfect rendition of 10 nesting pole supports.

now spring of 2012 and the nesting season was just around the corner, again the trusty WOW volunteers came to the table to offer their services in moving these 150 pound tires of cement to their resting place. In the center was a sleeved pipe, exact in dimensions to securely hold the 1 3/8″ top-rail (now standard in WOW’s materials list), having learned from the prior predator issues on this project. Lugging these monsters out into the pond was no small feat for these gent’s. As it came time to replace the prior high-water-stressed boxes, we decided to utilize the remaining boxes from Erik Heras ESSP #55, and his monster contribution of 30 plastic wood duck boxes. We had six set aside purposefully for this project, and now able to deploy.

Given the increased visibility of the Kingfisher Pond, being accessed by Ogden’s Parkway Trail system, outdoor enthusiasts as well as the birding community now have the opportunity to view and photograph one of the Wasatch Front’s most successful wood duck nesting project sites. This project is a culmination of 4 ESSP’s, and what wondrous site it is, WOW. Just days after placement, these newly placed nesting boxes have already begun to show signs of wood duck visitation.

With the addition of the plastic boxes, there is a prime opportunity to study the usage rates of plastic verses wood, so two wooden boxes from Zack Wixom ESSP#81 were also introduced in key habitat to allow for these effects to be studied on Kingfisher Pond.

To bring this project to a close, hundreds of hours and nearly $2,500 dollars worth of materials properly placed have this project ready for a red-carpet inspection. A huge thanks to all parties involved, and to Weber County Parks for hosting these efforts.


Cameron Cox ESSP #74

Tue ,20/09/2011

Cameron Cox of Kaysville, Utah has just completed his Eagle Scout Service Project. Cameron chose to make ten stands that were desperately needed for the Kingfisher pond located in the heart of Weber County’s wood duck area.

While these cement filled bases don’t look like much, they are monsters to coordinate the cement and project volunteers. Each of these bases weigh in at well over 100 pounds, the weight of which will act as a base and support for Wood duck nesting boxes. Kingfisher pond is located over a landfill recovery program, where the bed of the pond has been lined with gravel. This gravel bed has rendered the existing boxes on poles to be unstable. These cement bases will provide the perfect answer to this issue.

Jacob Peart ESSP #68

Thu ,12/05/2011

Jacob Peart, of Sandy, Utah, goes all out on his Eagle Scout Service Project, building a total of 20 wood duck box kits. These kits were later used as a part of the WOW program and it’s involvement at the Great Salt Lake Bird Festival in May, at the Davis County Fair Grounds.

Children participating in the GSLBF would have the opportunities to assemble one of these WOW ESSP boxes. These boxes were later taken to the field and appropriately places for wood duck usage.


Jacob Abrams ESSP #64

Mon ,18/04/2011

Eagle Scout Service Project #64

Jacob Abrams Completes His WOW ESSP!!!

It’s not very often that we see a young man tackle his Eagle Scout Service Project (ESSP) at the age of twelve years old. Jacob Abrams completed his requirements with the WOW program for his ESSP in less than 30 days from contacting me…WOW!!! Go Jacob….Go Troop 750!!!

Jacob has committed to doing a little write up, explaining the details of this service project; We will then post this story, along with some pictures and a short YouTube video.

Hats off to this young man and his supporters for contributing twelve boxes to the Wild Over Wood (WOW) Duck Nesting Program.


Carl B Taylor

Printables for your ESP

Fri ,15/04/2011

WOW Eagle Scout Service Project Letter >>> Click Here

The ESP Project letter will assist you in understanding the WOW project and give you a One-Sheet to attach to your ESP packet for review of your Scouting Committee.

WOW Wood Duck Box Plans>>> Click Here

The Wood Duck Box Plans will assist you in your lay-out and materials list, as well as further your understanding of the exact methods and dimensions of the WOW box design. Additionally, we will provide you with a template box, that will help you during this project. Scouts will need to arrange to meet with WOW representative to have his Service Project Packet appropriately signed, and to collect his template box.

WOW Post Project Write-Up>>> CLICK HERE

As a part of your ESP, we would encourage you to take photo’s that would be appropriate to share of you and your team on the World Wide Web. Select 5 0r 6 of your favorite photo’s to submit and write a one page article, sharing your story of this project, spot-lighting the efforts from you and your support group. There is no exact format to these stories. This is your story to tell. Submit these photo’s and your article to us and we will proof and post them in your name on the WOW website.

Wood Duck Box Plans

Fri ,15/04/2011

Printable PDF Wood Duck Box Plans>>> Click Here

Dr. David N. Koons

Thu ,14/04/2011




I’m an assistant professor at Utah State University and have been an avid waterfowl hunter throughout my life. In a nutshell, my research program is focused on the factors that affect how many ducks and geese are produced, and fly south each year. Students and I are currently involved in collaborative projects studying snow geese, bluebills, redheads, pintails, and wood ducks in Cache Valley. For more info click on the link to my webpage below.

David Koons, Asst. Prof.

Utah State University

Dept. of Wildland Resources and the Ecology Center

5230 Old Main Hill

Logan, UT 84322

Phone: 435-797-8670 (no voicemail)


Fax: 435-797-3796

Web: web page

Jason Carlisle 1

Thu ,14/04/2011

Coloring Wood Ducks

Thu ,13/05/2010