Wood Duck

Important Notice:

Flyways.us will be shutting down on January 2, 2019. However, most of the content found here will now be available on the the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Program website.

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.