Outdoors

Birds flock to family's ponds, nest boxes

A wood duck graces the 2009 federal junior duck stamp, with artwork by Lily Spang, 16, of Toledo, Ohio. (The Spokesman-Review)
A wood duck graces the 2009 federal junior duck stamp, with artwork by Lily Spang, 16, of Toledo, Ohio. (The Spokesman-Review)

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Birds have giving a thumbs up, so to speak, for Ron Dexter and the seven wildlife ponds he's built on the family property near Mount Spokane over the years.

“Besides great blue herons, belted kingfishers, etc., our main attractions are the wood ducks that have slowly increased in numbers,” he reported this week.

“This morning there were 20, half males and half females.  I have erected 22 nest boxes, so we still have room for more wood ducks, so if you see any, send them our way.

“Some years, we also have hooded mergansers nesting. At times they will lay in the same box and one or the other will set. The female will hatch out both species. The young stay in the nest box until she calls them out within 24 hours of hatching. They jump out of the nest box with tiny wings spread like parachute jumpers and bounce like corks when the hit the ground. 

“They hang around the pond for a few hours, then mama will lead them on a trip through the weed to a nearby creek.”

  




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

By Rich Landers richl@spokesman.com (509) 459-5508


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