Nature Journal
with Photos

          
Wood Duck Identification Tips
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)
 
General Information
- A medium-sized duck with a long crest on head
- Long-winged and long-tailed
- Blue-green speculum with white rear border

Adult male alternate
- Alternate plumage worn from Fall-through early
  summer
- Red bill
- Red eye
- Green head
- Striking white stripes about face and crest with a
   large white throat patch and "fingerlike" extensions
   onto cheek and neck
- Chestnut breast and neck with vertical white stripe
   at lower margin
- Golden flanks bordered above by a white flank stripe
- White belly
- Iridescent dark green-blue back and wings

Adult male basic
- In basic plumage, the male resembles the female,
   but often retains the distinctive neck patch and red
   bill

Adult female
- Gray bill
- White teardrop shaped patch around eye
- White throat
- Gray-brown head and neck
- Gray-brown breast stippled with white and fading to
   a white belly
- Dark brown back

Juvenal plumage
- Gray bill
- Female similar to adult female
- Males similar to adult females, but with white neck
   patch

Similar species
Adult male is unmistakable. Female, immature and eclipse males are nondescript, but distinctive in face pattern, shape and speculum pattern.
 
 
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