Duck houses installed in park

PONDSIDE—Boxes intended as homes for wood ducks have been installed in Olmsted Park in an attempt to help the colorful, formerly rare bird bounce back in the area.

Two wooden boxes mounted atop poles were installed late last month, one in Ward’s Pond and one in Leverett Pond, by Jamaica Plain and Brookline park advocates.

The boxes are intended to mimic the hollow trees that the ducks would normally prefer, and the poles should keep out such predators as raccoons, said Boston Parks Department spokesperson Jacque Goddard.

The project was the brainchild of Brookline resident Hugh Mattison of Friends of Leverett Pond, who teamed up with Jamaica JP’s Gerry Wright of Friends of Olmsted Park.

Angelo Paul of Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center (BNC) in Mattapan helped Wright and Mattison with the hands-on installation work. BNC holds several nature programs in the park.

The duck houses have the blessing of the Boston and Brookline parks departments. Olmsted Park sits on the Boston-Brookline border along the Jamaicaway between Huntington Avenue and Perkins Street.

“The installation of the wood duck boxes at Leverett and Ward’s Ponds helps to maintain and increase the diversity of bird species along the Emerald Necklace,” said BNC Director Julie Brandlen in a written statement to the Gazette.

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