Maryland Wood Duck Initiative

Maryland Wood Duck Initiative Logo 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.

The 2020 lumber order window has closed. Lumber orders placed in 2020 will be delivered in January, 2021, and kits and boxes will be delivered in late February. Please email:​ with questions.

MWDI has also made arrangements with Aaron Ward to purchase some "spec" lumber to be able to offer another 40-45 completed boxes (and guards). For subsequent orders, while supplies last, please contact Aaron at or 410-251-3838.

Predator Guards for Sale
Thanks to Phoenix Metal for this reduced price!

November 2020 Director’s Message

The 2020 nesting season appears to have been encouraging although Covid has disrupted nest inspection timing significantly. Data is still outstanding for many of our 120+ sites. We project a modest gain from the ~6,700 ducklings produced in 2019 from ~ 1,700 public site boxes.

MWDI has continued to cull several small sites where results and supervision was also less than desired. A 15 box rehabilitation was to occur on one site and three other small projects (total 16-18 boxes) were completed / planned for the 2021 nest season. MWDI also assisted Delmarva Power convert an abandoned power line into a 15 box program where wetland disturbance to remove the poles would have been substantive. Delmarva was selected by Excelon as having the best environmental remediation solution among their operating subsidiaries. Delmarva directed their $5,000 discretionary award to MWDI which will support our lumber orders for the next 2 years!

MWDI has continued with its annual cypress lumber order for our own needs and to assist private programs. These projects continue to grow by 150-200 boxes annually. Demand outstripped supply and we expect further growth in these programs in 2021. MWDI has been involved in projects utilizing more than 2,000 private boxes and we estimate there are at least 3,000 functional nest boxes on private lands.

Youth assembly events for certain groups have not occurred due to Covid but MWDI has arranged for Eagle Scouts to handle the assembly in three separate projects.

MWDI has supplies for new public projects if you wish to initiate one. We review site habitat, assist box location and train volunteers but you must have a project manager identified to monitor the project after installation. MWDI is also ready to assist all private projects.

As always, a huge “thank you” to our dedicated volunteers for helping to make a difference.


Cliff Brown
Executive Director
Maryland Wood Duck Initiative