Maryland Wood Duck Initiative - A Total Wetland Experience
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B&W illustration of wood duck nest box

MWDI Shines a Spotlight on Bryon Bodt and Anita C. Leight Center naturalists & volunteers

Director's Message

MWDI's Annual Nest Box & Kit Sale
Assembled Boxes Also Available
Order Today - Payment due by Dec. 21st

September 2014 Director’s Message

Preliminary 2014 Production Estimates Comparable to 2013 Levels

Nest inspections are only about 50% completed and the large Chicamicomico and Patuxent Refuge sites have not been reported but the “plus/minuses” so far suggest 2014 production will be comparable to the record 7,990 ducklings in 2013. Wet spring weather bolstered habitat and brood survival seems to be strong as periodic rains have maintained many wetlands.

Many small to mid-size projects have reported moderate to large production gains but spring floods have reduced production by potentially 200-300 ducklings especially at the Jug Bay-Patuxent River and Bosley Conservancy sites. High water also caused snake predation to be significant at Bosley.

  2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Ducklings 2,773 3,386 4,382 5,924 6,524 6,781 7,464 7,543 7,151 7,990 8,000
Boxes 1,146 1,263 1,408 1,476 1,524 1,652 1,743 1,716 1,708 1,791  
2.4 2.7 3.1 4.0 4.3 4.1 4.3 4.4 4.2 4.5  
Number of Sites 20 21 25 36 51 70 77 85 86 88  

Since 2004, MWDI’s project sites have generated 40,000+ ducklings over base reference estimates.

MWDI once again (4 years!) has received tremendous support from the Chesapeake Chapter of the Safari Club International and our wood order for box kits to be placed later this fall is assured.

Tawes School is expected to have 20 boxes for sale this fall and a notice on both of these items weill be circulated in late September.

More than 1,250 youth involved to date assembling 1,250+ boxes, participating in multiple field trips and other educational aspects. Click here to see a summary of these activities.

Youth box assembly efforts pending and completed have involved community service projects for high school seniors, an eagle scout project, the Cecil County Youth Outdoors event, DNR’s Hunting & Fishing Day and Maret High School’s comminuty service event.


MWDI has supplies for new projects if you wish to initiate one.

All we ask for is decent public site habitat and a willingness to monitor the project after you install it. For those responsbile for existing sites who have not yet finalized their inspections…please do so !! Thank you for your consideration. And thank you to the volunteers who made these results possible!

Yet, wider variances now typify certain larger projects which cannot be fully explained and other large projects are still in a general decline. An active rehabilitation program also helped increase the functional box totals last year – another positive variable.

Details will be published and analyzed in a special Activity Report to be circulated by mid-May.


Cliff Brown
Executive Director
Maryland Wood Duck Initiative

The Maryland Wood Duck Initiative is an all-volunteer wildlife conservation effort started in late 2004. Our objectives are to enhance Maryland’s wood duck population and to generate a greater appreciation of the wetland habitats in which they live by advocating and demonstrating the merits of a “best practices” approach in managed nest programs.

Leveraging these focused efforts on the wood duck, we seek to provide a Total Wetlands Experience for our volunteers and the “next generation” through the development of complementary educational programs, internships and research projects.
Maryland Wood Duck Initiative logo & Photo Collage