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Jeff Lampe
Jeff Lampe

Jeff Lampe has been outdoor writer at the Journal Star in Peoria for 12 duck seasons. He lives in Elmwood with his wife Monica, sons Henry, Victor and Walter, and Llewellin setter Hawkeye. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., he is an avid fan of the Bills and still has mental scars from four consecutive Super Bowl losses. Outside of hunting and fishing, Lampe's main passion in Illinois was Class A boys basketball (which sadly no longer exists). Former publisher of the Class A Weekly newsletter, Lampe is a co-author of "100 Years of Madness" and "Classical Madness," both books focusing on prep basketball in Illinois.

Illinois Outdoors


A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Illinois hunting and fishing

Wood duck stuck in chimney

June 08, 2010 at 10:31 AM

At first, Eric Swanson didn’t know what to think when he saw a drake wood duck perched atop the chimney on this Warren County farm home.

Nest inside? Keeping warm?

“The more I thought about it, I knew that chimney was open all the way to the bottom. I suspected the male wood duck was watching his girlfriend trying to get back out or the chimney.”

So he decided to check it out.

“Sure enough as soon as I turned on the basement light, I could hear her trying to get out. I pulled the chimney from the Franklin stove and there she sat. She dove back in to the chimney and fell back to the bottom. With my little mag light and a mirror I could see her in the bottom. I tried to figure out how I could get her out. Than I wondered if there might be a clean-out in the base of the chimney. Sure enough there were three bricks loose with insulation around them. I pulled them out and began to dig soot out of the hole. After about a half hour of digging I had about a bushel of soot on the floor and my wife poked her from above with a stick and down she came. After pulling her closer by her leg I realized the hole was almost too small so I reached inside and turned her head first and pulled her out.”

“She was dirty black but pretty lively. I took her outside for pictures and let her fly. She headed right over to our pond for cleaning and water.”

Good job Eric.

Illinois hunting and fishing

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That’s a great story!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/08 at 02:17 PM

Looks like your pond could use some more nesting boxes.

Great Story. Nice Pics.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/09 at 08:30 AM

Thats the problem. I had a wood duck house in our pond that they used each year. It fell over last winter and sank. My fault for not getting over there to put it back up. Ill make sure to get it back up before next years nesting season.

Thanx for the comments. Wood Ducks are one of the most beautiful birds out there.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/16 at 05:50 PM
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