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Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by mark, Apr 5, 2012.
On the back cover of the Mckenzie Insight winter supplement, 2012. ????
Im curious, why do you ask that?
Its because I have only seen woodpeckers be able to do that. I hang a lot of duck boxes, seen em hang on the hole, but not on the side. Not without a strip of wood anyway. Willing to be corrected though, I have an open mind.
Like this? Im not sure they really have the toe nails to cling, but I also havent seen it either, I know they fly in flapping away though. Heres a pic, but while without a strip, it DOES use the lip of the hole. I only asked you initially because I wondered of you didnt like the mount quality or something, lol...
Mark just think about this: look at your next wood duck box. Hatchings are nit fed by adults. Within a day of hatching they must jump to the water below. How do the get from the bottom of the box to the hole and jump out. They don't have flight feathers. They use the egg tooth and the claws on their feetl.
BTW it's a woodduck hen.
You weren't alone Mark, I thought the same thing.
Notice how the tail feathers are used to brace the bird. I saw a show on the Ivory-Billed woodpecker sometime back, and the narrator alluded to the fact the the tailfeathers on woodpeckers are always torn and frayed from using the tail as a brace. I guess the woody's learned it from the woodpeckers!
Actually Joey, the woodpeckers tails aren't "torn and frayed". If you look at them closely you'll see they are evolutionarily modified feathers that the quills stick out past the barbules. Woodpeckers have "X" shaped feet for grasping but could not possibly generate enough head speed to chip away tree layers to get insects without some sort of "brace". The modified tail feathers fill that function.
Yes George you are right re the chicks exodus from the box. However we facilitate the chicks getting out of the hole by putting tight mesh chicken wire on the inside of the box during construction. A chick may be able to grab a foothold, but I maintain that I just cant see an adult wood duck hanging on nothing but a board, at least at that angle. I have also seen adult birds land in trees, and hang on the side of trees, but thats bark. We need one of the bird judges to chime in. . .
LOL Mark. Even if they COULD, I don't think I'd mount a hen like that. What amazes me is that they actually fly right INTO the box. I guess the ones with vision issues end up being coon bait. That sudden stop has to be hell.
Wood ducks are pretty agile, both in flight and when it comes to clinging to vertical surfaces. In flight they can ascend vertically, they can hover, and they can even fly backwards for a short ways if they have to.
In fact, I'm not sure I would ever be willing to bet on what they can and cannot do if they really want to. I have seen a pinioned one "walk" up a 6ft cedar fence (and escape!) by flapping its one-and-a-half wings, so I am sure they could cling to a vertical surface if they really wanted to. Their claws are small but surprisingly sharp if you look closely at them.
I have wood duck boxes in the yard and I've never seen a hen "stick" to the side of a box like that. They sometime hit that hole at a speed that I expect to see them come out the back of the nest box. If they "linger" on the outside at all, it's just like the picture Bill posted, right at the hole!
Birds set up with zygodactyl toes like woodpeckers and parrots easily cling that way. I think kingfishers have that too. Owls and ospreys do for grabbing prey. Ive seen bluebirds and cavity nesting birds like flycatchers and others that still cling with the standard toe set up, so I suppose, why not wood ducks? They nest in natural cavities with no strips or mesh, just natural texture.