Bio Students Check Wood Duck Nests

April 15, 2019

On Sunday, April 7, SGS students floated the Little Spokane River along with Melanie Mildrew, Dr. Seth Coleman, and Dr. Steve Hayes (Gonzaga University) to check on the usage of 12 wood duck nesting boxes that were put up as part of several students’ CAS projects last year.  Each box was inspected for usage by nesting wood ducks.  Last year’s egg shells were removed for later genetic and heavy metal analyses, and old nesting material was replaced with fresh, clean nesting material for this year’s nesting pairs.  

Of the twelve nesting boxes put up between Saint George's campus and Indian Painted Rocks, nine had been used by wood ducks last year.  "This is a GREAT use percentage, as wood ducks tend to be pretty rare around here (providing the motivation for the project in the first place)," said US Bio teacher Seth Coleman.  "One had been used by an owl, one by a northern flying squirrel (a very rare treat to see around here!), and one had not been used."  

Right now, along the Little Spokane River corridor, pairs of wood ducks are looking for nesting cavities.  Based on last year’s usage, we are hopeful that our SGS wood duck nesting boxes will once again provide vital nesting sites for these lovely little ducks.