Wood duck are medium sized ducks with such bright and vivid coloration. In fact, the most colorful duck in the world. Males are generally more colorful than females and it is very satisfying to see a wood duck in the wild. They are also called Woodie, Summer duck, Acorn duck, Swamp duck or Squealer duck. They were at the risk of getting extinct in the 1800s and early 1900s but, due to conservation laws now these magnificent creatures are wealthy in number. So, Let’s check some physical and behavioral facts about them.
1. Wood ducks have a huge habitat as they can seen in the eastern part of America, Australia and Tasmania. They usually thrive on the forest floors near any kind of water streams.
2. These birds grow up-to 25-29 centimeters and weigh 700-950 grams. Females are generally smaller than males.
3. Males do have more eye catchy colors to show off or attract females. They are Monogamous in nature, meaning males can find different partners each year and they don’t mate necessarily for life.
4. Unlike other ducks, wood ducks have claws on their feet. As they climb trees, these adapted feet help them to perch or grip on tree bark.
5. Wood ducks are picky for nesting spot. They generally build their nest on tress, above water or near water stream. If they couldn’t find the suitable place then females do lay eggs on abandoned woodpecker’s hole in trees or find another wood duck’s nest. Even if right nest boxes are provided at the right place, they will use them.
6. They feed by dabbling or walking on land and mainly eat grass, berries, acorns and seeds. Although sometimes they also eat insects, making them Omnivores.
Must Read: Amazing Parrots Facts For Kids
7. The males are called Drakes, the females are known as hens or ducks and the babies are called ducklings.
8. Wood duck babies are precocial, meaning they can jump and swim by born. They even have small tooth in their beak. These ducklings can climb and come down 8 feet or more from their nest.
9. After the eggs hatch, mother leaves in 2 weeks. By this time the ducklings are ready to fly and can jump from heights of 300 feet without injuring themselves while learning to fly.
10. Wood ducks do interbreed with Mallards (another species) creating hybrid ducks. Although commonly the hybrid offspring end up infertile.
11. The North American wood duck is relative to the Mandarin ducks of eastern Asia.
12. While searching for food, these ducks are able to reduce their oxygen consumption and dive underwater. They can stay submerged for a minute or some longer.
13. Drakes or males have red eyes. It is a distinctive feature to identify these ducks easily.
14. Females do sleep with their young out of water, preferably on the banks or tree logs to avoid danger. But, males do roost or sleep on the water.
15. They are only species of ducks known to commonly produce more than 1 brood a year.