Common Merganser Nest Box

Build a common merganser nest box with cedar, pine or most any softwood. Use wood stock rough-cut on both sides so birds can grip surfaces.

Make a 10″ by 10″ floor (inside dimensions) and a 33″ floor to ceiling height (inside front). Cut a 5″ wide by 5″ square entrance opening with rounded corners located 30″ above the floor (to top of opening). Drill or cut ventilation openings in the floor and under the roof.

Side Opening Doors may be better than hinged roof doors for duck houses and possibly more convenient and safer for other birdhouses as well.

Common merganser nest box with species birdhouse dimensions.
Always use corrosion resistant screws and hardware. Drill countersunk pilot holes in primary work pieces. Drill 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.

View or print common merganser nest box plans.
Extend the back wall panel beyond both top and bottom. Drill pilot holes in these long panels for mounting. Drill another 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 birders attach wire mesh on the inside front panel to help ducklings climb out of the box. If you do this, bend the sharp needle ends over and fold behind. It may be better to use plastic poultry or snow fencing, or similar material.

Fasten duck boxes firmly 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. 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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Common Merganser Nest Box

Build a common merganser nest box with cedar, pine or most any softwood. Use wood stock rough-cut on both sides so birds can grip surfaces.
Common merganser nest box with species birdhouse dimensions.
Make a 10″ by 10″ floor (inside dimensions) and a 33″ floor to ceiling height (inside front). Cut a 5″ wide by 5″ square entrance opening with rounded corners located 30″ above the floor (to top of opening). Drill or cut ventilation openings in the floor and under the roof.

Side Opening Doors may be better than hinged roof doors for duck houses and possibly more convenient and safer for other birdhouses as well.

Always use corrosion resistant screws and hardware. Drill countersunk pilot holes in primary work pieces. Drill 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.

View or print common merganser nest box plans.
Extend the back wall panel beyond both top and bottom. Drill pilot holes in these long panels for mounting. Drill another 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 birders attach wire mesh on the inside front panel to help ducklings climb out of the box. If you do this, bend the sharp needle ends over and fold behind. It may be better to use plastic poultry or snow fencing, or similar material.

Fasten duck boxes firmly 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.

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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