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zckls04
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Any Birdwatchers Or Duck Experts?

Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:27 pm

Calling all anatidaephiles- if such a thing exists.....

I live on a lovely lagoon near a bird sanctuary, and I think I would like to build some sort of duck house on the water with a camera in it so I can see some duckling chicks hatching.

The problem is, although I am pretty comfortable with the technology involved- wireless cameras, infrared and solar power etc, I know absolutely nothing about ducks, which is a hindrance to my endeavors.

Do any of you people know how practical something like this is from a duck-attraction perspective? Would a house over the water be suitable or do ducks want a place on land? If not suitable for ducks, could I attract any other interesting water-based fowl? What are ducks' predators except for cats (which would hopefully be put off by the water)?

Any duck-based information or trivia most welcome. Cue the silence!
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imiakhtar
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RE: Any Birdwatchers Or Duck Experts?

Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:08 pm

I used to keep some Indian runner ducks many years ago.

Quoting zckls04 (Thread starter):
Would a house over the water be suitable or do ducks want a place on land?

I'm unfamiliar with duck species in the US. In the UK however, all the ducks I've come across prefer to breed and nest at the waters edge.

For my runner ducks, the bird house was roughly 20"x20"x40" high. I used wood shavings for the flooring and raised the floor a few inches off the ground to minimise damp. Also, if possible, try and avoid the use of varnish and paints.

Quoting zckls04 (Thread starter):
What are ducks' predators except for cats (which would hopefully be put off by the water)?

The cats rarely went after my ducks. They were more interested in my chickens. Foxes however were a menace. They managed to grab two of my favourite ducks Jekyll and Sybil  
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flyingturtle
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RE: Any Birdwatchers Or Duck Experts?

Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:05 am

Quoting zckls04 (Thread starter):

Ducks breed on land, some others in caves in the tree (like the wood duck, or the Mandarin duck that is becoming frequent in Europe). You can't force some ducks to breed on the ground. 

Where I live, there are always a flock of ducks beneath a pedestrian bridge (mallards, some Mandarin ducks, rarely some common merganser). These have been attracted by people feeding them... and offering them some food is also a consideration for you, though you should use duck feed (wheat, maize), and bread only in moderation. If it is a bird sanctuary, you should check beforehand if you are allowed to put up a duck house or even feed them.

As ducks breed without fences greatly, you don't have to care about predators. Some ducks will get cought by foxes and the like, and this is just bad luck if it happens in your duck house...


David
Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
 
Birdwatching
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RE: Any Birdwatchers Or Duck Experts?

Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:07 pm

Bird watching?

Count me in! See my user name.
Ever since I was a kid, I've referred to plane spotting as bird watching.
I've never really gone out to watch actual birds though. Maybe I should try this some time. Seems like a relaxing thing to do.

Soren   

[Edited 2012-10-04 08:07:43]
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aerorobnz
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RE: Any Birdwatchers Or Duck Experts?

Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:22 am

I love birdwatching, I have done it in plenty of locations around the world. It is easily as good as plane spotting -which I also love.

if I was you I think I would approach the resident twitchers (the birdwatching fraternity) and see 1) if they know any nesting sites and 2)if it is possible with proper authority given to set up cameras on these pre-existing nests.

If you plan on breeding them yourself on your property then contact your local avicultural society for fellow duck breeders, join it, pick a species to focus on and become an expert on and go for it, using your fellow members for tips and experiences, breeding stock and the rest of it. Bare in mind that you may need incubators/sterile 'hospital' enclosures with IR heat, but you can certainly set up your own cameras in nestboxes/nesting areas etc. There are programs online if you want to keep a track of your breeding stock, their genetics etc.
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flyingturtle
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RE: Any Birdwatchers Or Duck Experts?

Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:20 am

Quoting aerorobnz (Reply 4):
I love birdwatching, I have done it in plenty of locations around the world. It is easily as good as plane spotting -which I also love.

Yes, it is great. Especially in winter, when all the migratory ducks visit us...  

Because of my hearing disability, spotting non-waterfowl was always a problem. How to locate them if you're deaf on one side? 


David
Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
 
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zckls04
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RE: Any Birdwatchers Or Duck Experts?

Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:19 pm

Good info- thanks all! Sounds like I need to stay on land, which I think should be doable. I'll let you know how it goes.
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