Wood Duck

Aix sponsa




Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Creamy white or pale buff.

Number of Eggs:

9 - 15

Incubation Days:

25 - 37

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

In tree.

Nest Material:

Lined with down.





Wood Duck: Small tree duck with brown back, white throat, and purple-brown breast with white flecks grading to a white belly; flanks are buff-yellow. Crested head is green and purple with white stripes; throat is white with two bars, one extending as a partial collar, the other extending behind and below the red eyes. Bill is brightly patterned black, white, and red. Legs and feet are dull yellow. Female is much duller with gray-brown head, neck, and breast, white-spotted flanks, weak crest, dark eyes surrounded by a large, white teardrop-shaped patch, white belly and blue-gray bill. Juvenile resembles female but is grayer overall with scaled underparts, has darker, spotted belly, and white eyebrows and dark eye-lines. Eclipse male resembles female but retains bright bill, red eyes, and white throat patches.

Range and Habitat

Wood Duck: Breeds across most of central and eastern U.S. and southeastern Canada and along the Pacific coast from California to British Columbia. Resident in the southeastern states, the West Coast, and scattered locations in the West. Preferred habitats include wooded swamps and freshwater marshes.

Breeding and Nesting

Wood Duck: Nine to fifteen creamy white or pale buff eggs are laid in a tree cavity lined with down. Incubation ranges from 25 to 37 days and is carried out by the female. Young can fly at 56 to 70 days. Occasionally produces two broods per year.

Foraging and Feeding

Wood Duck: Feeds on vegetation, insects, snails, tadpoles, and salamanders; forages while swimming.


Wood Duck: Call is a thin, high, rising "jeeeeee."

Similar Species

Wood Duck: None in range.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
The upper front part of a bird.
Similar to the upper part of the human neck, located at the back of the crown.
Tufts of feathers on the head of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X