Build an Artificial Nest at the Foot of Changbai Mountain to Welcome Chinese Merganser to Settle Down
A duck mother is leading her duck babies to cruise in water. Photo by Zhuo Yongsheng
There has been Chinese Merganser settling down in the artificial nest built last year. Photo by Piao Longguo
Early April, at the foot of the province’s Changbai Mountain, a pair of Chinese Merganser were cruising and playing in Toudaobaihe River. On the shore of the river, a group of people were busy installing artificial nests in trees to make preparation for the return of Chinese Merganser.
In Jilin Province’s Baihe River Chinese Merganser Nature Reserve, there are dozens of Chinese Merganser stopping here and six to five pairs making a nest and breeding. Chinese Merganser has a habit of making a nest in natural tree caves and generally chooses an appropriate cave in trees on the shore of a river. The forest here has been harvested for many years and some aged trees naturally died so that there are a few of natural tree caves for them to make a nest. From 2016, Baihe Forestry Bureau every year started to build artificial nests in Baihe River Chinese Merganser Nature Reserve so as to lift the population quantity of Chinese Merganser in the area.
The artificial nest takes wood as the main framework and the entresol is filled with polystyrene foam so as to achieve a solid, safe, heat and light purpose. The exit façade is made with barks of poplar, bass and other aged broadleaf trees, with a simulation result. Install a camera in each nest to master the nest’s situation and well monitor Chinese Merganser’s nest breeding.
Chinese Merganser is known as the living fossil in birds and is a national grade-1 protected animal and the number is extremely rare. They prey on fishes and insects and make a nest and breed in natural tree caves close to water. The nestlings, after leaving their nest, their parental birds will lead them to jump into water from the entrance of their nest. Every middle September, they will migrate to the south and go through the winter in the south of the Yangtze River and return to the north to breed next April, mainly breeding in Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang, Jilin and other places