Wood duck

This wood duck (Aix sponsa) was very poorly photographed yesterday during our observation of a Canada goose territory scuffle.  The wood duck flew in to the pond right in the middle of the action.

I believe wood ducks to be one of the prettiest of all birds and in the nineteenth century, these birds were hunted almost to extinction for their pretty feathers to adorn women’s hats.

The wood duck is one of only a few types of ducks with claws, that allow it to perch on branches and climb trees.  The female will nest in a tree cavity if she can find one, but she will also use manmade wood duck boxes.  If she cannot find a good spot, she will lay in the nest of another wood duck.  When the ducklings are born, they jump from incredible heights out of their nest to the ground, where their mother waits for them.

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