Wood Duck

Scientific Name: Aix sponsa

Diet: Wood Ducks eat a variety of water plant seeds, aquatic invertebrates, and fruits and seeds, including acorns, fruits, duck weed, wild cherries, and smart weed.

Sound: The female Wood Duck’s call is a loud and screeching eee-ek!  eee-ek! eee-ek! repeated several times. The male’s call is a high whistling that rises in pitch.

Habitat: Wood Ducks live in forested wetlands such as slow moving rivers, ponds, lakes, marshes, and swamps. They prefer deciduous forests, and freshwater wetlands.

Nesting: Wood Ducks are cavity nesters. They nest in nesting boxes or natural cavities. They often use  old Pileated Woodpecker holes. The nest hole can be up to 65 feet high. Wood Ducks lay 9 to 14 eggs, and incubate them for 25 to 35 days. The nest hole is lined with down.

Behavior: Wood Ducks forage in the water. They peck at the surface of the water or dabble. Wood Ducks may up-end or dive to get to food under the surface of the water.

Description/field marks: Wood Ducks are about 18 to 21 inches long, and have wingspans of about 26 to 29 inches. Male Wood Ducks look spectacular. The tops of their heads and crests are emerald green, and they have black cheeks with white streaks coming up from the white throat. Their breasts are brown, and their undersides and their sides  are beige. Wood Ducks’ backs and wings are a mixture of black, dark blue, and dark green. The bills are reddish orange. Females are brownish gray, with white eye rings, and blue patches on the sides of the wings. The females’ bills are slate gray.

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