WOOD DUCK


Aix sponsa


Description:

Due to hunting, these beautiful ducks have been under federal protection since 1918 and have since made a comeback. This bird nests high up in tree cavaties and lays 10-16 eggs with an incubation period of 4-5 weeks. They feed on aquatic plants, insects, amphibians, fruits, and nuts. In fact, this bird eats more fruits and nuts than any other american duck.


Appearance:

General: 17 to 20 inches in length.

Male: Green, "helmet" shaped head. Chestnut colored chest and neck. White belly and chin. Dark upperparts; patterned with irridescent green, purple, and blue. Blue-green speculum with white rear border. Red eye and bill (with black tip). Female: Gray-brown head and neck fading with white speckles into a white belly. Dark brown back. White throat. White, teardrop shaped patch around dark eye. Gray bill.


Habitat:

Wooded rivers, lakes, ponds, swamps, and freshwater marshes.


Nesting:

9-12 whitish or tan eggs with a 28-37 day incubation period. Fledging occurs 56-70 days after hatching. The nest is a down lined tree cavity or man-made box, usually high above the ground (up to 50').


Observed Locations:

  • Lake Murray, La Mesa
  • Santee Lakes, Santee
  • Lindo Lake, Lakeside





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