June 22, 2017

Wood Duck

Wood Duck
(Aix sponsa) nests in hollow trees, where the young eventually climb and jump to the ground in order to follow their mother to the water. Females begin breeding when they’re one year old and lay 8-15 eggs, which are incubated for up to a month. The eggs usually hatch in June. By the first severe frost, usually in September, wood ducks generally migrate southward.

The male in his multi-colored breeding plumage is a splendid sight, considered by some to be the most beautiful of native North American ducks.

About 90 percent of their diet is plant material, including duckweed, grasses, and wild rice. They eat more fruits and nuts than any other North American duck, frequently wandering into the woods in search of acorns, hickory nuts, butternuts, grapes, and berries. A common nickname is “acorn duck.”