Wood Duck Houses

woodduck.DLTeresa Burton, from the Horticulture department of the Minneapolis Park and Rec. Board, is in charge of the installation and monitoring of wood duck houses at Diamond Lake. Here are her comments about the status of the houses this year with a picture of the material taken from one of the nest boxes:

“We put up two pole mounted houses with predator guards in the vicinity of the church on the south side of Diamond Lake last fall to be used (hopefully) this spring.  In the spring we fill the houses with fresh woodchips and then return in the fall to check on the status of the houses, record data, empty, and clean.  We record a variety of different things on each house.  The presence of down, shells, whole eggs, presence of squirrels, wasps, owls, etc.  This year both houses had a number of whole eggs (19 and 11) and no down or shells present.  It would lead us to believe that the boxes this year may have been dump nests.  It is also possible that something happened to the hen but as no down was present the dump nest seems more likely.   Sometimes dump nests happen when there are too few or too many nesting sites in the area.  Conflicting?  I know.  Sometimes things are a mystery. There are many different theories on whether dump nests are good or not so good.  We consider a house used is a house successful.”

The following link gives a more detailed description of Wood Duck activity:   http://www.woodducksociety.com/qanda.htm#A_Wood_Duck_Hen_and_her_Eggs:

Birding Expedition

Baltimore Oriole
Baltimore Oriole

Thanks to Mark for leading our first spring birding expedition. The weather was perfect and the birds cooperative. In addition to being an experienced birder, Mark is an enthusiastic photographer and we hope to feature more of his Diamond Lake bird photos on the website. Watch for email blasts and website notifications of future expeditions.

Birds, Birds, Birds!

Swans on Diamond LakeWe are excited to have an experienced birder to help us again with this year’s inventory our of bird population around Diamond Lake. Mark is a resident of the Tangletown Neighborhood but he has agreed to cross neighborhood lines to help us out. As a long time birder Mark has frequented Diamond Lake in past outings. He will be leading several birding trips to help interested people learn to identify and appreciate the over 70 species of birds that either stop over on the lake as part of their migratory trek north or reside and nest on the lake and its surrounding habit. Specific trip dates are weather dependent and are in the works, so look for the birding expeditions on the website and in email blasts to members. Please be sure we have your preferred email address (see the Newsletter subscription form at the bottom of the page). Watch for upcoming notices in late April, May and June.