Wood Duck

Aix Sponsa


Average Length - male: 20",

female: 19"

Average Weight - male: 1.5 lbs

female: 1.4 lbs

Basic Info

- Male - The head has a crest and is green and purple with white stripes and an orange and red beak. The chest is speckled maroon and white. The wings are a dark green, the underside is white, and the sides are tan.
- Female - The female is dull brown/grey to hide from predators while nesting.

Wood ducks make a distinct whistling sound instead of the traditional quack of other duck species.

There is no official number of the wood duck population, but officials say that it is on the increase in nearly all of North America.

Migration and Breeding

Breeding - Wood ducks breed in most of the eastern and, more recently, the mid west United States, southern Canada, and along the Pacific coast from California to British Columbia. They prefer swamps and other forested wetlands. Females nest in tree cavities or nest boxes and lay about a dozen white eggs.

Migration - In the eastern and western United States, 30-75 percent of wood ducks are permanent residents. They are also permanent residents of Cuba. Migratory wood ducks use the Atlantic Flyway from New Brunswick to Georgia through Texas. The western migratory birds use the Pacific Flyway from British Columbia to California. Both populations winter in the southern United States, with small numbers in Mexico, Bermuda, and occasionally the Cayman Islands. Wood ducks use forested wetlands with hardwood trees.

Interesting Fact

Wood ducks are one of the only ducks that can grab onto tree branches with their feet.