Cavity Nesting Waterfowl Habitat Program 2009


James R. Potter


The original Buffalo Lake Duck Box Project (1989) was initiated to increase the population of cavity nesting ducks in the Buffalo Lake Moraine (BLM) and to obtain additional data on cavity nesting species. Data collected over the first 15 years of the project was used to enhance the long‐ term goal of conserving habitat. The project has expanded in to the Pine Lake/Big Valley Moraine and the name has been changed to the Cavity Nesting Waterfowl Habitat Program.

A brochure was produced (Conserving Habitat) in 2004 and 3000 copies were printed. The brochure focuses on habitat conservation for cavity nesting species with emphasis on preserving old growth forest habitat. Brochures are distributed to various groups and individuals as well as electronically through e‐mails.

In the 2008/09 year, 92 boxes were monitored and 7 new cavity nest boxes were installed. This brings the total number of cavity nest boxes in the project to 1281. We delivered five presentations to various groups, two of which included constructing pre‐cut nest boxes at the seminars. Twenty cavity nest boxes were donated to various groups and individuals. Three field trips were undertaken; one in April toured nesting Saw‐whet Owls in the Pine Lake Moraine, one in May with the Buffalo Lake Naturalists and one at Chapman Lake observing cavity nesting boxes and mallard nesting tunnels. Two hundred and thirteen people attended presentations in 2008/09 bringing the approximate number attending nest box seminars since 1989 to 1407 adults and 1158 youth. A booklet (Nest Box Guide for Waterfowl – Alberta Edition) was produced in January, 2009 and is available to landowners, various youth groups and conservation organizations on an ongoing basis. 

Plans for 2009/10 include presentations on waterfowl habitat, cavity nest box building workshops and field trips, as well as maintenance and monitoring of existing cavity nest boxes on a five year rotation.

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