Wood ducks are some of the
most beautiful waterfowl in the U.S. Over-harvesting and the loss of habitat in
the early part of the century threatened them with extinction. Good management
practices and thousands of wood duck nest boxes have helped them make a dramatic
|Abundance: Common urban
Length: 19 inches
Weight: 1¼ pounds
Span: 29 inches
General description: Diurnal, omnivore, precocial
Male wood ducks
have green heads and crests streaked with white, red eyes and base of
bills, purple breasts, white throats, beige sides and bluish backs.
Females are duller with bluish backs and a white teardrop shaped eye
: 1 year
Mating season: February -May.
territory: 1 pair per 24 acres
Gestation: Eggs hatch in
28-37 days. The young leave the nest 1 to 2 days after that.
young: 6-15 usually 10-15. Eggs are 2 inches long and creamy
Diet: Seeds, acorns, berries, grains and insects
Wood ducks choose old
woodpecker holes or other natural cavities near water for their nests.
Courtship and pair formation takes place in the fall.
|In wooded swamps and bottom
land forests in the eastern and western U.S. and Canada and western
Mexico. Year round residents in east Texas but northern populations
migrate south for the
|Humans almost caused the
extinction of wood ducks in the early 1900's through habitat destruction
and over harvesting for food and feathers. But concerned citizens got
together to save wood ducks. They created hunting seasons and bag limits
and built and maintained thousands of nest boxes for them.
- Older male wood
ducks pair up earlier in the season than yearling males.
- Female wood ducks
usually return to nest within a half-mile of where they were born.
- Baby wood ducks are
precocial, which means that they
are covered with down, can swim and find their own food soon after they
are born. They can climb as high as 8 feet to get out of the nest cavity
that they were born in using a special tooth on their beak! They have
been known to safely jump 50 feet to the ground when they leave their
- Wood ducks prefer
nesting over water so that the babies have a soft landing when they
leave the nest.