The Duck Conservation Society picked up 25 wood duck nesting boxes built by students from South Effingham High School.
Twenty-eight students from Bill Eaves’ Agriculture Mechanics 1 class last fall built the boxes for credit from materials provided by the DCS, a group of sportsmen and conservationists. The boxes were branded by the students with the DCS logo and loaded in to a truck to be placed throughout the county.
For 10 years DCS has set out to improve waterfowl habitat and nesting possibilities. These boxes are part of the DCS statewide effort to bring the wood duck population back to Georgia.
Clearing old standing wood and draining beaver ponds extirpated the watery woodland habitat appropriate for wood ducks. However, the beaver population has been able to mend their habitat to one that is ideal for ducks. David Beecher, DCS state coordinator, said the problem is that the natural cavities that ducks would live in, such as holes in standing dead trees, are being cut down by the beavers or invaded by predators.
Wood ducks are one of the few that will live in an artificial nesting box. These nesting boxes are fitted with predator guards and placed in ideal breeding sites for the ducks. DCS technician, Curtis Wallace, explained that there are currently more that 100 boxes in Effingham and 15 percent are occupied.
SEHS is one of the eight schools participating in building the duck houses, with each school providing an average of 50 houses. Wallace placed two close to campus Tuesday, and showed the students how to annually inspect the houses. Without the schools to build the boxes, there would not be any.
“The backbone of our program is right here, these kids,” said Beecher.
For information concerning the Duck Conservation Society contact:
Victor Weston, director of Effingham DCS at (912) 754-3149
Herby Boyd, county coordinator Effingham DCS (912) 661-3451
Curtis Wallace, DCS technician at (912) 313-4384
David Beecher, DCS state coordinator at (912) 282-3661