Sean McMillion, a Boy Scout from Troop 2810 chartered out of Salem Lutheran Church of Sycamore, recently completed his Eagle project to benefit DeKalb County forest preserves. He built 12 wood duck boxes to be placed at various preserves around the county.
Inspired by his late grandfather’s love of bird watching, McMillion consulted with Patrick McCrea, the restoration ecologist with the DeKalb County Forest Preserve District and came up with the project, as newly restored prairies such as Afton and Merritt Prairie lack mature trees and nesting opportunities for larger cavity nesting birds. These bird boxes, placed on tall poles, help prevent predators from destroying eggs and fledgling baby birds and could also benefit screech owls, barn owls and kestrels.
Also assisting McMillion with his project was Connie Handel, a natural resources facilitator with the forest preserve district, and Marc Shipman, who helped McMillion cut the wood for the boxes. McMillion and Shipman pre-cut the pieces necessary and had fellow troop members help assemble the boxes.
The boxes were installed in several different preserves in predetermined locations to best attract and safeguard the birds.