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Virginia is Pulling for the Wood Duck

The Virginia Cooperative Extension office is encouraging private land owners to help increase the population of wood ducks in this state. The agency asks people to refrain from cutting timber which is close to the shoreline or overharvesting woodlands. They also recommend homeowners put up nesting boxes for these ducks to breed in. According to the extension office, these boxes should be either placed in the water or covered with a predator guard so that snakes and raccoons cannot eat the eggs.

Virginia has realized a decline in wood ducks during the 20th century. As more and more development took place, these birds were faced with nowhere to call home. Overdevelopment has also led to the decline of beaver populations, and this directly reflects in the number of wood ducks in Virginia. This is because beaver often gnaw trees, thereby creating a natural habitat for this waterfowl to nest in.

The Cooperative Extension Office suggests that abandoned farmlands are often potential areas for wood ducks to relocate. Once the green pastures become forested, wood ducks are likely to take up residence near farm ponds or rivers. Reforesting also leads to the increase of beaver population in certain areas, thereby making these locations even more attractive to the wood duck.

Another way Virginia has worked to preserve the population of wood ducks is to decrease the bag limit for them during hunting season. Previously, this limit was very high so hunters were often encouraged to shoot large numbers of these birds. By placing limits on this game and providing natural habitat for the wood duck, this bird is sure to be found in the state of Virginia for many generations to come.