Conservation is an essential lesson for any Scout group, but our senior youth section wanted to do more than talk about it. They wanted to do something that would help our community. As a service project, the first Five Island Lake Venture Company and Rover Crew wished to support our local Wood Duck population by building duck houses. The youth developed a business plan to purchase wood and supplies to make six duck houses, specifically to attract wood ducks in our area’s lakes.
Considered one of the most beautiful waterfowl in Nova Scotia, the wood duck was nearly hunted to extinction. Today, with conservation efforts, there are well over a million wood ducks all around North America. These ducks have a beautiful crest and are multicoloured ducks. Males are patterned in iridescent greens, purples, and blues with a distinctive white chin patch, face stripes and a mainly red bill whereas, females are grayish with a broad white eye-ring.
These ducks nest in cavities of trees, where the young leave the protection of the nest soon after hatching, jumping to the ground and quite often don’t make it due to woodland predators. The type of duck house the Scouts selected was designed to protect the mother and her eggs until the ducklings leave the nest. The wood duck is the only North American duck that regularly produces two broods in one year.
These duck houses have been placed throughout the community on Sheldrake Lake, Anderson Lake, and Cooper Lake. The Venture company plans on visiting these sites throughout the Spring and Summer to make sure they stay clean and safe for the duck families that will call them home each year.
Originally published in the Masthead Newspaper 2021