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North American Wood Duck

Aix sponsa

Woodduck Gallery

About the North American Wood Duck

conservation status: least concern

Geographic Range:

range map

Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Aix
Species: sponsa

Wood ducks are a visually striking species of duck that live exclusively in North America. Although their populations are healthy now, they were hunted to extremely low numbers in the 1800s. Conservation efforts including artificial nest boxes have allowed their numbers to rebound.

Wood Duck Facts

Male wood ducks are easily identified by their deep green crown feathers, red bill, and red eyes. In contrast, females are covered in light brown feathers with dark blue feathers on their wings and a yellow ring around their eyes.

The diet of wood ducks consists mostly of seeds like acorns and also includes aquatic plants and an occasional insect or crustacean.

Mating and Reproduction:
Wood ducks make nests in the cavities of tall trees and line the nest with down feathers as padding for their eggs. Hatchlings leave the nest for the first time the very morning after hatching, leaping from high up in their nest onto the forest floor. They are cared for by their mother for about six weeks after hatching.

Habitat: Swamps, ponds, wooded areas with rivers
Range: As a migratory species, the wood duck breeds in northern United States and Canada, then travels to southern United States and Mexico during the cold winter months.