Wood Duck

Male Wood Duck

Wood Duck
(Aix sponsa)

Order:  Anseriformes
Family:  Anatidae

Wood Duck- Breeding Male
Photo © David Blevins

Wood Duck Information

Length:  17 - 20.5"

Habitat:  Wooded wetlands, wooded edges of ponds, lakes, streams, and slow-moving rivers.

Diet:  Aquatic plants and their seeds, aquatic and terrestrial insects, crustaceans, waste grains, acorns, beechnuts, other nuts and seeds.

  Calls of the male and female Wood Duck

Additional Information

Wood Duck
Description, distribution, behavior, habitat, diet, reproduction, and conservation status. Includes photos and range map. (From Wikipedia)

Wood Duck
Photos, description, habitat and habits, range, feeding, breeding and conservation information. (From Hinterland Who's Who)

Female Wood Duck

Wood Duck

By Alex Starr via CC

Wood Duck
Identification Tips

  • 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 (breeding)
  • 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 (non-breeding)
  • 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

(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

Breeding Bird Survey Map,

Wood Duck Breeding Map

(Image credit: USGS)

Wood Ducks that breed in northern New England tend to move further south in the winter. This bird is found year round in southern New England.

Winter Map from eBird

Sightings of the Wood Duck Nov-Mar over last 10 years

Christmas Bird Count Map
Historical CBC Map from USGS