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King George, Virginia
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January 13, 2016     The Westmoreland Journal
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January 13, 2016
 

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6 Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016 THE JOURNAL www.journalpress.com MARK FIKE for suitable nesting sites. Abandoned for food in the wetlands. Plant mate- viewable and keep track of when the woodpecker nests in tree hollows are rial and aquatic invertebrates as well female lays her final egg if possible. One of the most beautiful ducks I favorite areas. Most of the time the as insects are the most commonly She will go out to feed morning and have ever seen is the wood duck. The wood duck will seek a nesting site sought after foods. Common sense night when incubating. Given the chestnut coloration combined with a that is near water. However, they tells us that the further the females average of 29 days to hatching, count deep green, orange, white and black have been known to nest hundreds nest from water, the more perilous it down and be there first thing in the is striking in contrast and yet gor- of yards from water. The female will the journey for the brood, morning on the 29th and 30th day if geous at the same time. Wood ducks lay 10-12 eggs on average, but stud- Records point out that the wood possible. The ducklings almost al- are unique in that they roost and nest ies have shown that at times they will duck was heavily hunted and their ways jump out of the nest first thing in trees. They have no problem flying lay more eggs, incubate another hen's numbers were extremely low a hun- in the morning. Keep your distance through the woods. I have, on nu- eggs that are laid in the same next, dred years ago. In the past two de- but try to get photos as they leap to merous occasions, sat in the woods or even lay another dutch and raise cades their numbers have increased, the ground or water. deer hunting near a marsh and wait- another brood. However, due to their relative low A good wood duck box plan can ed for the sun to come up. On many The eggs take a month or so to numbers there is a small limit on be viewed at: http://www.woodduck- of these mornings as the daylight incubate and hatch. Once the first wood ducks when hunting. We can society.com/WDHouse.pdf crept in, I noticed a pair of birds in duckling hatches they all hatch in the do a lot to help wood ducks increase Tips for wood duck boxes: the tops of nearby trees perched on next 24 hours or so. Then they claw their numbers. Because the birds will • Use rough cut wood to large limbs. Wondering what they their way to the hole above and jump be pairing up this month, it is a good make it as natural as possible and/or were, I used my binoculars to identi- out of the nest. Because the female time to build a nest box and install use cedar for longevity. fy them. They fly among the branch- sometimes chooses a nesting site 30+ it in a wetland on your property or • Score the inside forward es very well and have no problem feet in the tree, the little ducklings property you lease. However, if you face of the box or install a small piece turning on a dime and giving you a have quite a jump to make! Some install a wood duck box, please do it of hardware cloth inside to help the nickel change in the process! When nests are as low as six feet off the correctly and recheck it each year and ducklings climb out on "jump day". they swim, their head will often jerk ground but that is rare. Once on the maintain it. Installing a wood duck • Don't use plastic to build back and forth reminding me of pi- ground, the hen will lead her brood box incorrectly will lead to predators the box or tarpaper for the roof as it geons that are feeding in the city. towards water. It is a perilous jour- eating all of the young. Raccoons can heat up too much. Wood ducks can be found all ney. Domestic cats, feral cats, foxes, and snakes are top predators of wood • Make the box with an easy over our local area but they prefer raccoons, snakes, coyotes, hawks, ducks. A metal cone guard is recom- clean out access point and clean the swamps, beaver ponds and marshes owls and other predators will reduce mended if installing the wood duck box each fall or winter. to large lakes. They sometimes over- the wood ducklings down to a few. box on a tree. • Install some shavings in the winter here in our area but often Most studies show that a little over If you decide to make a wood duck box to help the hen. head further south if we have a cold half of the ducklings won't survive box, the project can be quite enjoy- • Check the box regularly to winter. Once February and March the first three months. At six weeks able, particularly if you can install insure it is not rotting or a raccoon arrive, the wood ducks will filter they will feather out and be able to it where it can be easily observed, has not enlarged the hole to get in- back into the area and begin looking fly. Until that time they will search Make the box approachable and side and eat the eggs. url n Athletes devoted to outdoor sity debunked that myth, suggesting choosing your workout gear, choose moisture away from your feet. Acrylic workouts do not abandon their rou- that if humans lost that much heat an inner layer that will move mois- can be more effective at wicking mois- tines when winter rears its chilly through their heads, then they would ture away from your skin. Cotton re- ture away from your feet than cotton. head. While it can be difficult to em- be just as cold when going outside tains moisture, and that means your • Know your weather reports. brace the great outdoors when tem- without a hat on as they would be if sweat will cling to your body and While it's admirable to stay on peratures hover around the freezing they left home without wearing any make you feel cold. Once you find course with your outdoor workouts point, maintaining your motivation pants. But wearing headgear when a shirt made with moisture-wicking in the winter, don't allow your de- at such times bodes well for your fit- exercising outdoors is still a good material to wear against your skin, votion to overtake your common ness goals the rest of the year. idea, as the head is more sensitive to look for a second layer that also sense. Check the forecast before be- Staying warm is a top priority for changes in temperature than many wicks moisture so you can more ginning an outdoor exercise, paying athletes who exercise outdoors dur- other areas of the body. A wool hat effectively control your body tem- particular attention to the wind chil. ing the winter months. While there's you can pull down over your ears can perature. Your outer layer should be According to the Mayo Clinic, frost- no guarantee winter winds won't protect them from getting too cold. capable of handling the elements, bite can occur when skin is exposed test your willpower, there are some Athletes may also want to consider ski so look for something that is water- to wind chill levels below minus 18 ways to stay warm when working masks or other facial covers that can proof and wind-resistant. F for 30 minutes. If need be, shorten out in colder climates, protect their faces when winter winds • Don't forget footwear. Feet can outdoor workout routines and find ' • We~'a~riate :headgear. For -are howling, easily succumb to cold temperatures ways to exercise indoors when wind years, rrra~'peopte,subscrtbeckto the • Layer correctly. Layering has when exercising outdoors, but you chills get dangerously low. conventional wisdom that suggested long been a reliable way to beat can employ the same strategy with Exercising outdoors in winter can people lose 40 to 45 percent of their the cold when temperatures are at your socks that you do with your lay- be exhilarating, but athletes must body heat through their heads. But in their lowest. But layering must be ers. When choosing workout socks, prioritize staying warm and safe for 2008, researchers at Indiana Univer- done correctly to be effective. When avoid cotton socks that don't wick the duration of their workouts. Above: Woodduck box made from online shavings in your box to help the hen. plan. Below: Install wood Pretty Pets Professional Pet Grooming ! 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