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Wood Duck

Aix sponsa


Wood ducks are fairly small ducks. The males--shown in the first and third photos--are arguably the most handsome of the North American waterfowl. He has a reddish brown breast, green head with white throat, neck and chinstrap markings. The crest is green and outlined in white, eyes are brilliant red, and bill reddish tipped with black. Sides are burnished bronze, wings dark. Both males and females have a crest although it typically lays down the neck. Females are more cryptically colored with large white eye rings.


Wetlands and wooded floodplains. Wood ducks have strong, sharp claws and they often land in trees. Nest sites are in tree cavities and specially designed nest boxes.


These ducks are checking out a nest box I built several years ago and placed about 6 meters up in a silver maple tree outside our living room window. Last year we had our first set of wood duck nestlings hatch out of the box. It would be fun to see that again this year.

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Gordon Dietzman
Gordon Dietzman 5 years ago

Marta, I tried to get that last year by putting a motion-activated video camera under the nest box. Unfortunately, it failed to record the tiny ducklings plummeting to earth. Maybe they were too small to trigger the camera. Not sure why it didn't work. I did, however, get to see the little guys jump from the box. That is pretty rare as it doesn't take them more than a few seconds to empty the box. I snapped a couple of photos of them one of which was a previous spotting. See it at http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/319...

The MnMs
The MnMs 5 years ago

Beautiful!! I hope you will be able to show us the babies jumping off the nest! :-)

Gordon Dietzman
Spotted by
Gordon Dietzman

Roseville, Minnesota, USA

Lat: 45.00, Long: -93.12

Spotted on May 2, 2014
Submitted on May 2, 2014

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