Wood Duck

Aix sponsa

With its striking green crested head, white bridle, orange-reddish bill and eye, the drake Wood Duck is a spectacular bird. It has a white flecked chestnut breast, yellow flanks and a black back. The hen has a white patch around the eye, white underside, brown back and sides mottled with tan and gray. Both sexes have steel blue wing patches.

Length: 18 1/2"
Weight: 1 1/2 lbs.

illustration of a wood duck hen and eclipse drake

Found in all flyways; most numerous in the Atlantic and Mississippi flyways and fewest in the Central.

They are early migrants; most of them have left the northern States by mid-November.

Frequents wooded streams and ponds; perches in trees. Flies through thick timber with speed and ease and often feeds on acorns, berries, and grapes on the forest floors.

illustration of wood duck wings

illustration of a wood duck drake

Flight is swift and direct; flocks are usually small.

In the air, their wings make a rustling, swishing sound.

Wood Duck
side view illustration of a wood duck in flightillustration of a typical wood duck flock pattern

illustration of a wood duck in flight

Drakes call hoo-w-ett, often in flight; hens have a cr-r-ek when frightened.