Black-bellied Whistling Duck House

Build the black-bellied whistling duck box with cedar, pine or most any softwood. Use wood stock rough-cut on both sides to simulate tree cavities and so birds can grip surfaces.

Make a 12″ by 12″ floor (inside dimensions) and 22″ floor to ceiling (inside front).  Make an entrance hole 6″ wide by 4″ high located 19″ above the floor (to top of hole). Cut or drill ventilation openings in the floor and under the roof.

Species birdhouse dimensions for black-bellied whistling ducks.
You may prefer Side Opening Doors instead of hinged roof doors for duck houses. They are possibly more convenient and safer for other birdhouses as well.

Always use corrosion resistant screws and hardware. Drill countersunk pilot holes in primary and regular pilot holes in secondary work pieces. This reduces a tendency for wood to split. It makes for easy assembly in minutes with a power or hand held screwdriver.

If full width wood stock is not available, use two 1″x 6″, or 1″x 8″ boards. They usually vary from 5 1/4″ to 5 1/2″ wide and 7 1/4″ to 7 1/2″ wide. Cut them to width and secure well. Reinforce with chamfer strips (inside) or batten strips (inside or outside) fastened perpendicular to vertical panels.

Plywood consists of glued, thin laminated panels. They are strong but prone to deterioration from moisture even when surfaces and edges are sealed with paint.

Print or view Plans for a Black-bellied Whistling Duck House
The back wall panel extends beyond both top and bottom. Drill pilot holes in these panels. Mount usually to a tree or post. Drill an extra mounting hole inside the box just under the roof. Stagger these holes so that all are not in line along a single wood grain. Holes in line with grain can weaken and cause wood to split.

Some like to attach wire mesh on the inside front panel to help ducklings climb out of the box. If you do, bend the needle sharp ends over and fold behind. A better alternative may be to use plastic poultry or snow fencing, or similar material.

Attach boxes for black-bellied tree ducks to metal (preferable) or to wood posts. Mount 4′ above water, 6′ if above ground, higher if it is likely to attract the curious. If above ground, locate near ponds and where vegetation provides cover for ducklings to travel to water. Always protect with 3′ wide cone predator guards around the post, under the box. Place 3″ to 4″ of wood chips (not saw dust) in the boxes. Remove everything from the box and clean well after the brood rearing season is past.

Wood ducks typically nest well before black-bellied whistling ducks. It is possible that both might nest in a tree cavity or nest box in the same season. Black-bellied whistling ducks usually raise two broods in a season.

Do not mount duck boxes in trees. Not on, under or too close to trees where squirrels can leap on to boxes. Predation from snakes, raccoons and a number of other mammals and birds is a horrible thing. You can prevent this.

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Black-bellied Whistling Duck House

Build the black-bellied whistling duck box with cedar, pine or most any softwood. Use wood stock rough-cut on both sides to simulate tree cavities and so birds can grip surfaces.
Species Dimensions for a Black-bellied Whistling Duck House
Make a 12″ by 12″ floor (inside dimensions) and 22″ floor to ceiling (inside front).  Make an entrance hole 6″ wide by 4″ high located 19″ above the floor (to top of hole). Cut or drill ventilation openings in the floor and under the roof.

You may prefer Side Opening Doors instead of hinged roof doors for duck houses. They are possibly more convenient and safer for other birdhouses as well.

Always use corrosion resistant screws and hardware. Drill countersunk pilot holes in primary and regular pilot holes in secondary work pieces. This reduces a tendency for wood to split. It makes for easy assembly in minutes with a power or hand held screwdriver.

If full width wood stock is not available, use two 1″x 6″, or 1″x 8″ boards. They usually vary from 5 1/4″ to 5 1/2″ wide and 7 1/4″ to 7 1/2″ wide. Cut them to width and secure well. Reinforce with chamfer strips (inside) or batten strips (inside or outside) fastened perpendicular to vertical panels.

Plywood consists of glued, thin laminated panels. They are strong but prone to deterioration from moisture even when surfaces and edges are sealed with paint.

Print or view nest box plans for black-bellied whistling ducks
The back wall panel extends beyond both top and bottom. Drill pilot holes in these panels. Mount usually to a tree or post. Drill an extra mounting hole inside the box just under the roof. Stagger these holes so that all are not in line along a single wood grain. Holes in line with grain can weaken and cause wood to split.

Some attach wire mesh on the inside front panel to help ducklings climb out of the box. If you do, bend the needle sharp ends over and fold behind. A better alternative may be to use plastic poultry or snow fencing, or similar material.

Attach boxes for black-bellied tree ducks to metal (preferable) or to wood posts. Mount 4′ above water, 6′ if above ground, higher if it is likely to attract the curious. If above ground, locate near ponds and where vegetation provides cover for ducklings to travel to water. Always protect with 3′ wide cone predator guards around the post, under the box.

Place 3″ to 4″ of wood chips (not saw dust) in the boxes. Remove everything from the box and clean well after the brood rearing season is past.

Wood ducks typically nest well before black-bellied whistling ducks. It is possible that both might nest in a tree cavity or nest box in the same season. Black-bellied whistling ducks usually raise two broods in a season.

Do not mount duck boxes in trees. Not on, under or too close to trees where squirrels can leap on to boxes. Predation from snakes, raccoons and a number of other mammals and birds is a horrible thing. You can prevent this.

Above all, please do not attract duck families and leave them vulnerable to predators. Significant reduction in predation has been achieved through proper location, installation and use of cone predator guards. 

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