Been seeing a few of these this spring and finally got a pic with my phone last week. I'm guessing they have a nest, but haven't seen it or any little ones yet. They sure do "chat it up" while I'm fishing.
They are on a private tract in Bibb County. I need to take a good camera and get a good pic of them. Yesterday I got within 20 yds of them. I guess they don't see me as a threat... like the coots we have. They've accepted that I'm fishing and I'll soon pass them by.
They seem to be pretty adaptable. We've got a pair nesting in a retention pond at the Georgia Ports Authority, between a main gate and the administration building. The traffic doesn't seem to bother them at all.
First started seeing them about 4 years ago. Just a pair here and there. Now, man, they have exploded in population. This is Jefferson and Leon counties. I've seen them take over WD boxes on the big lake too.
When I worked on the coast with GADNR, we would clean out the duck boxes and by mid-summer there would be upwards of 25-35 eggs in some boxes. BBWD’s are prolific dump-nesters. I do agree though that if the boxes are cleaned out properly from the prior year, the wood ducks will clutch and sometimes double clutch before the BBWD ever even get started.
There are BBWD nest records now as far north as Illinois and Nebraska.