Sisters Country birds


Last updated 3/26/2024 at 1:33pm

Photo by Douglas Beall

Wood duck.

The most colorful of all our ducks, the Wood Duck [Aix sponsa], lives and breeds in swampy forested areas. Acorns are a favorite food along with other seeds, salamanders, aquatic insects, snails, and tadpoles.

Courtship begins in fall and may be interrupted by harsh weather, and then be resumed in spring. They nest primarily in tree cavities and man-made nesting boxes. Females line the nest with breast feathers and will lay between nine and 14 eggs. After approximately 35 days the ducklings will exit the nest sometimes falling up to 100 feet. Two clutches are common and some Wood Ducks will lay eggs in another's nest [egg dumping].

These fast-flying tree ducks have several nicknames; squealer duck, swamp duck, or Carolina duck. Their populations have grown over the last 30 years due to many nest box programs and habitat protections. A group of ducks are referred to as a "paddling," a "flock," a "raft," a "plump," a "badling," or a "brace."

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