Mallard Duck Nest Tubes

Through a citizen science project the Waterfowlers’ Network (of which BASC is a member) are monitoring the breeding success and usage of duck nest tubes. The Waterfowler’s Network are calling on members and the wider shooting community to make, erect and record usage of nest tubes, in the hope we can improve breeding success across the species’ flyway.

Mallard nests are often destroyed before the eggs have chance to hatch, through predation, trampling from livestock or disturbance from dog walkers. Nest tubes offer security and protection from the elements and when used properly these tubes have been shown in other countries to boost fledgling success.

The Waterfowlers’ Network wish to monitor the success rate in the UK and discover what if any features impact success rate.

How can you help?

1. Make and erect a mallard nest tube on either the land you own or shoot over.

Anyone can make and erect nest tubes to help improve the population of wild mallard in their area. It may take several years before the tubes are used, but don’t be disheartened – once they are occupied, the ducks and their offspring will likely return to nest year after year.

2. Record as much of the following information as you can:

      • Habitat type.
      • Site location.
      • Number of tubes placed at site.
      • Species using the tube.
      • What types of habitat management and predator control are currently being carried out at the site.

Just before the end of the mallard breeding season (May/June) we will provide a link to an online form to be able to collect your nest tube outcomes, we will let you know when this becomes available.

Please contact BASC if you need any help or advice with this project.

Further advice on how to build a duck nest tube can be found here:

How to build a duck tube
information sheet

Flooding, habitat destruction and predators can all take their toll on mallards trying to nest in fragmented habitat. You can help by providing safe nesting sites for the ducks.

Mallard
information sheet

Mallard is the most common and widespread species of duck in the UK. They breed in all parts of the UK, wherever there is a suitable wetland habitat.

Get your ducks
in a row

Releasing reared mallard can be counter-productive, says James Green. Instead, try siting duck nest tubes which have proven to boost wild bird populations.

Making and positioning a duck nesting tube.