Mar 8, 2015

The Eastern Bluebird and Nest Boxes

Well we still have 3 to 4 feet of snow still on the ground here in Northeast Connecticut but the day time temps are finally starting to climb.  According to the calendar spring is just 2 weeks away but I think we might be battling snow and ice for a few weeks after that.  But there is hope, especially when I get new visitors to my backyard like the Eastern Bluebird.

Taken March 2015 at my feeder

The male Eastern Bluebird is easily identifiable by their brilliant royal blue color and rust colored throat and neck while females will be more gray on the back with blue in the wings.  Definitely colors that catch your eye when bird watching. Bluebirds will visit your feeders and enjoy fruit, mealworms, peanut hearts and even suet.  They are truly a treat when they visit.

Eastern Bluebirds will start their nesting in early March and it is important to get your Bluebird nesting boxes built and installed early in the nesting season if you want to keep them around. has a downloadable set of Bluebird nesting box plans that makes this project a snap.

I hope you are lucky enough to have Bluebirds visit your backyard this year.

Feb 13, 2015

Wood Ducks and Boxes

The Wood Duck is one of the most colorful ducks out there and by far my favorite duck to watch and hunt.  Fast agile flyers, bright colors and the unmistakable squealing sound are just a few characteristics that make them special to me.   I remember one overcast and misty morning when my son and I were out bowhunting deer and walking down a old logging trail only to have a dozen plus Wood Ducks explode out of a tree above us.  Since then both of us have been a fan of the Wood Duck.

With almost 50 inches of snow on the ground over the past few weeks and more on the way as well as unbearable single digit temps I need a indoor project so why not make some Wood Duck boxes.  Because Wood Ducks are perching ducks and cavity nesters, this offers up unique opportunities to lend a helping hand to your local populations. 

Courtesy of Ducks Unlimited -

Habitat loss has been and continues to be a leading contributor to waterfowl populations and the loss of bottomland hardwood forests was pushing the Wood Duck near extinction.   Female Wood Ducks typically build their nests in tree cavities near wetlands. They carefully inspect the site for a variety of characteristics, including size, shape and security from predators and the elements. In many areas, wood ducks have difficulty finding suitable natural nesting sites. Wood duck boxes provide a man-made alternative, where hens can nest in relative safety from predators. Creating a wood duck box and strategically placing it can draw birds into an area and create a local population. Location and proper maintenance are the keys to successfully assisting wood duck breeding habits in your area.

Photo Credit: Bruce Morrell - Pictures By Bruce

Finding a suitable site to place wood duck boxes can be challenging and you need to be aware of the following.
  • Suitable brood habitat must be available close by in order for ducklings to survive once they exit the box.  
  • Shallow, fertile wetlands with thick cover and an abundance of invertebrates typically provide the best habitat for broods. 
  • Wood Duck boxes should be erected on either wooden posts or metal poles outfitted with predator guards.

You can download wood duck box building instructions and learn much more about maintenance, placement, waterfowl ID, a ducks life cycle and other ways you can help conserve waterfowl and wetlands by visiting Ducks Unlimited Waterfowl Biology Page.

You can also check into your local waterfowl organizations and chapters to see if they have a wood duck box building day like our Connecticut Waterfowlers Association will on March 14th from 10:100 am until 3:00pm at Flaherty Field Trial Area in East Windsor.  you can get more information here:  CWA Wood Duck Box building day.

If you are not a member of Ducks Unlimited and would like to learn how you can help DU with their wetland and waterfowl conservation mission please check out there website at:

Now get your boxes built because I'm sure all this snow won't stick around forever and spring is just around the corner.  Well I hope it is!

Nov 13, 2014

Saskatchewan 2014 Waterfowl Hunt Teaser

It's been a couple of weeks since we got back from a week long waterfowl hunt in Bladworth Saskatchewan with LivingSky Outfitters.  This is our second trip with LivingSky and arriving in camp and seeing owners Trevor and Jeff and the rest of the guides and crew it felt like a family reunion.  Such a  great group of folks that work hard to make your week of hunting the duck factory everything you ever dreamed off.  We have hundreds of pictures and hours upon hours of video to get through and sort out so for now here is a few pics and short video clip to keep everyone happy.

Snow Geese were the main attraction.
I've never seen so many snow geese in one spot.  The larger water where they were roosting couldn't fit another goose even if you lubed him up and used a shoe horn.  Just amazing.    Look down the horizon in the picture above and those are all snow geese.

5 man limit of snow geese and ducks - 140 birds

The ducks loved to come into the snow goose spread so if you wanted to you could shoot ducks and snows in one hunt and which we did a couple of times.

Sand Hill crane mission accomplished.

The weather was warm and the Sand Hill cranes were still around in huge numbers and one of our guys had been waiting years to hunt for a cranes so we setup one evening and gave it a go and thank goodness these 3 decided to try and land on us because the other 500 just flew on by.  oh and it was delicious!

Last but not least a short video clip from our last morning which was a snow goose hunt and we limited out in 42 minutes and had to see 100,000 snow geese that morning.  It was incredible!

Nov 4, 2014

A Moose Visits our Neighboorhood.

The other day I was fortunate to watch a beautiful cow moose out in a field near my house.  It looked exactly like the same cow that visited the same field last year even at the same time of the yea just around Halloween.  I'm not sure what attracts here to that field at this time of year, but she seems to enjoy checking out the cows and showing off for the crowds that stop to watch her.

Unfortunately this field is on a main road and it gets lots of traffic which makes for some interesting watching of the two legged wildlife known as Homo Sapiens or just plan people.  It was difficult to determine what to keep my eye on, the lady who can't drive and smashed into a care as she tried to pull off the road to check out Miss Moose or the cows walking to the fence to see what this familar looking 4 legged creature was.

one thing for sure though, if people would just relax, take their time, stay in their car and keep their voices down they would get to enjoy much more of Miss Moose next time she is out in public~

Sep 19, 2014

Where oh where have you been?!

I must apologize for my long absence and my neglect of my blog.  Work and outside commitments has been flat out crazy this spring and summer and still crazy going into the fall but I will do my best to get back to some sort of regular posting here.

The cold temperatures here in the Northeast Connecticut have everyone excited for the fall hunting seasons.  Resident goose is now open as is our Archery deer season and i actually got out for both this week - report to follow.

The next three weeks will be plenty busy at work as I try to get ahead of the game before I leave for a week of waterfowl hunting in Saskatchewan.

I hope everyone enjoyed their summer and found time to get outdoors!