Brown’s giving cavity nesting ducks a bit of help with his boxes

One warm fall afternoon last week found Ken Brown out on his driveway painting duck nesting boxes which he’ll eventually mount near his home

Enjoying the warm fall weather

One warm fall afternoon last week found Ken Brown out on his driveway painting duck nesting boxes which he’ll eventually mount near his home in Norglenwold and at other locations around the lake.

Brown, a member of three different fish and game clubs, got the original pattern from a fellow member of the Sarcee club in Calgary — Bryce Chase.

Since then he’s been building the boxes from scrap lumber and situating them where they are available for goldeneye ducks, those which normally nest in cavities in dead trees.

With the number of acreages increasing and homeowners cleaning out deadfall, places for the birds to nest are declining. “So we’re helping them out,” said Brown.

A cavity nesting box on the lakeside of his property has had the same pair of birds nesting in it for the last four years. He said it’s amazing to watch them come flying full speed ahead into the box and yet amazingly stop before they hit the back wall.

Brown said the 15 boxes he made this season, and was painting last week, will be attached to trees where they’re visible from a large body of water (a slough or lake) and high enough to keep predators away — about 6-7 feet high. “The closer to the water the better.” He added they’re also placed a fair distance apart so the birds don’t squabble.

He uses 3/4 inch plywood, because it lasts longer, and then paints the boxes to protect them from weather and lengthen their life. The box on his property has been there for more than nine years. (He doesn’t use treated wood.)

Once painted with a gray colour, they’ll be stencilled indicating they’re from Sylvan Lake Fish and Game Association, of which Brown is treasurer. The paint he uses is usually purchased cheaply from paint stores where they’ve mixed a wrong colour. By pouring six or eight cans together he ends of with gray.

Looking after the boxes is fairly easy, said Brown. Wood chips are added at the beginning of the season by removing a panel on the side of the box. Then at the end of the season the box is cleaned out of any eggs that may not have hatched.

Sometimes, he said, there are several duck eggs in the boxes simultaneously.

Brown said he’s an avid supporter of the work of fish and game associations. He’s a member of the Sarcee club, also the organizations in Sylvan Lake and Red Deer. After painting last week, he was committed to help the Red Deer club with their casino fundraiser.

Then his next project is to build some bat boxes.

Just Posted

WATCH: Sylvan Lake’s Daddy/Daughter Dance

The event was put on by SPARC Parent’s Association on Nov. 17

West Central Midget Tigers pounce on Airdrie

The Tigers’ regular season record is 10-1-2 after two wins this weekend

Big Bear Energy makes a big donation to Sylvan Lake Christmas Bureau

Big Bear Energy recently gave a donation to help families in need this holiday season

PHOTOS: H.J. Cody celebrates Academic Excellence

The Academic Awards ceremony was Nov. 16 at the Nexsource Centre

CIBC celebrates 100 years in Sylvan Lake

On Nov. 30 the Sylvan Lake CIBC branch will celebrate a century of service to the community.

VIDEO: Shoppers like self-checkout lanes at the grocery store, survey suggests

Grocery Experience National Survey Report suggests most grocery shoppers spend 32 minutes per visit

No deal in sight: Canada Post warns of delivery delays into January

Union holds fifth week of rotating strikes as both sides remain apart on contract negotiations

Ponoka woman and Sylvan Lake man see assault charges withdrawn

Charges dropped in Rimbey Provincial Court, stayed against Morsette

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Air force getting more planes but has no one to fly them, auditor warns

The report follows several years of criticism over the Trudeau government’s decision not to launch an immediate competition to replace the CF-18s.

Bolder action needed to reduce child poverty: Campaign 2000 report card

The report calls for the federal government to provide more funding to the provinces, territories and Indigenous communities to expand affordable, quality child care.

Judge bars US from enforcing Trump asylum ban

Protesters accused the migrants of being messy, ungrateful and a danger to Tijuana; complained about how the caravan forced its way into Mexico, calling it an “invasion.”

Ottawa Redblacks defensive back Jonathan Rose suspended for Grey Cup

Rose was flagged for unnecessary roughness and ejected for contacting an official with 37 seconds left in the first half following a sideline melee after a Tiger-Cats reception.

Mistrial declared in Dennis Oland’s retrial in father’s murder

The verdict from Oland’s 2015 murder trial was set aside on appeal in 2016 and a new trial ordered. Richard Oland, 69, was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011.

Most Read