"Wood Duck"
(Aix sponsa)


"male"

"female"

"duckling"






"male" Wood Duck
Photograph by

Ski S. Diverscreek Waterfowl
Photograph by
Ski S. Diverscreek Waterfowl
"male & female" wood ducks
Photograph by

Ski S. Diverscreek Waterfowl
Photograph by
Ski S. Diverscreek Waterfowl
Photograph by
Ski S. Diverscreek Waterfowl
Photograph by
Ski S. Diverscreek Waterfowl
Photograph by
Ski S. Diverscreek Waterfowl
Wood Duck Hen on "nest"
Photograph by

Ski S. Diverscreek Waterfowl
Wood Duck "newborn ducklings"
Photograph by

Ski S. Diverscreek Waterfowl
Photograph by
Ray Desjardins
Wood Duck "family"
Photograph by

Ian Gereg








The Wood Duck is widely regarded as on of America's most beautiful water birds. The colorful male of this species is unmistakable with its large iridescent crest and multicolored bill. It is one of the few ducks to roost high up in trees...it makes its nest up to 50 feet above the ground, lining a cavity in the tree with soft down; it also uses nesting boxes. It frequents wooded watercourses, ponds, and sqamps. It's a dabbler that feeds primarily on vegetable material and insects but also eats snail, tadpoles, and salamanders. It walks easily on land and often forages there.





Size: 17-20"

Male: Small, highly ornamental dabbling duck with a green head and crest patterned with white and black. A rusty chest, white belly and red eyes. It has a distinctive colorful head; white throat, artial neck-ring, and chinstrap all connected.

Female: Brown, similar size and shape to male, has bright white eye ring and a not-so-obvious crest, blue patch on wing often hidden.

Juvenile: It resembles the female.

Breeding: Monogamous. Solitary nester.

Nest: Cavity; female lines old woodpecker cavity, 1 brood per year. Female will lay eggs in a neighboring female nest (egg dumping), resulting in some clutches in excess of 20 eggs. It is one of the few ducks to roost high up in trees...with its nest up to 50 feet above the ground...lining a cavity in the tree with soft down. It will also use nesting boxes. Young will remain in nest cavity only 24 hours after hatching, then jump from up to 30 feet to the ground or water to follow their mother, never returning to the nest.

Eggs: 10-15; creamy white, unmarked.

Incubation: 28-36 days

Fledging: 56-68 days; female teaches young to feed

Migration: Complete, to southern states, non-migrator in Florida.

Food: Aquatic insects, nuts, fruit, plants, seeds, frogs, minnows. It feeds on the surface of the water, eating mostly aquatic plants like duckweed.

Voice: "Oo-eek" given by female in flight...male gives high whistle in courtship groups.

Habitat: Wooded swamps, rivers.

In Flight: Female takes flight with loud squaling call and enters nest cavity from full flight. In flight it appears big-headed with a short neck and a long squared tail. The bill angles downward.

Display: It has many courtship displays...in inciting, the remale repeatedluy flicks bill back over shoulder. Done near her mate and directed at intruding male. Her mate responds by rasiing wings and tail, turning the bakc of his head to her, and swimming away...she follows him.





More about Wood Ducks:
"Wood Duck Nests, Eggs & Baby Birds"






"Bird Wonderland"

"Wonderland"

Copyright 1999-2010 Snow W. Frost
All rights reserved.
Reproduction without permission is strictly forbidden.