The Natural Resources staff aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany installed new wood duck nesting boxes in the Indian Lake, March 14. Wood ducks are the one of the most common waterfowl species encountered in Georgia and at Indian Lake. The artificial nesting boxes have helped the species rebound after logging reduced their nesting habitat. The cone shape on the pole is also a predator guard to help keep snakes and raccoons out of the boxes. So far, staff have installed six new boxes with plans to put in a dozen more.
Wood ducks nest in natural and artificial cavities near wetlands. The species nest in late winter but can be seen any time of the year at Indian Lake. The distinctive plumage of the males is an incredible sight, according to Natural Resources Manager, Julie Robbins, MCLB Albany.
“Wood ducks are shy but they can be observed by walking MCLB Albany’s boardwalk quietly.” Robbins added. “Only the females (known as) hens will make a distinctive alarm call as they fly or swim away.”
Other birds will also utilize the nesting boxes including Eastern Screech-owls, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, and Great Crested Flycatchers. Indian Lake is also home to a small wading bird rookery, a communal nesting site. Currently, there are about six pairs of Great Blue Herons nesting in the rookery.