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Wood Duck

About Wood Duck

These waterfowl are usually found in heavily wooded swamps. They can be detected by the loud squeal of the females as they take flight.

Both the male and female have a busy crest that makes the head appear large and rounded.

The male is very distinctive and stunning. Most notable are the red base of the bill, red eye, thick crest, and white throat patch with 2 prongs projecting up onto the face.

The female is a gray-brown ghost of the male, distinguished by large white eye-patch, white throat, and head shape. The younger juveniles, like the females are duller, with a spotted belly.

The call of this bird is a rising squeal ooEEK. The male infrequently gives a high, thin jeee.

This bird is widespread and common. They breed in nest cavities in hollow trees or nest boxes in wet woods.

The species faced extinction near the turn of the 20th century; however, it rebounded quickly after hunting restrictions and nest box programs were put in place.