Range/Habitat: Wood Ducks are found in streams and around the edges of swampy areas across North America. They are found year round in the US, in Mexico in the winter, and in Canada in the breeding season.
Behavior: Wood Ducks are dabbling ducks but will occasionally perform short dives to feed. They eat a wide variety of insects, crustaceans, and vegetation with plant matter making up 80% of their diet. The are short distance migrants and don’t travel far to their breeding grounds.
Breeding: Wood Ducks nest in tree cavities and will readily use available nest boxes. Males and females pair up before traveling to their breeding grounds. Beautifully colored males court females by swimming in front of them with their wings and tails lifted and sometimes throw their heads back. Females lay 10-11 eggs per clutch and are one of few duck species in North America that regularly produce 2 broods per season (2 clutches of 10 eggs). Ducklings are born precocial (well developed) and leap down from their nests at just 1 or 2 days old to the forest floor (sometimes from up to 50 feet!).
Conservation: Listing: Least Concern. Wood Duck populations declined dramatically in the late 1800s but are now stable.