Wood Duck - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Wood Duck - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Wood Duck - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Wood Duck - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image  
Click on an image (if available) to see a larger version

Mountain Nature Network has become THE place for learning about the birds of the Canadian Rockies.

Wood Duck
Aix sponsa

Dabbling Ducks
Waterfowl Family (Anatidae)

Size: Length: 40-55 cm Wingspan: 72 cm

Description: Perfectly named, the colourful appearance and unbelievable beauty of the wood duck make it resemble a carved, fanciful creation. Males have an iridescent blue to green head with a prominent green crest which extends down the nape all the way to the base of the neck. The crest has a two white streaks, one running from the base of the bill, over the eye, towards the end of the crest. The other runs from behind the eye and along the base of the crest. The chin and throat are white, with a white line across the base of the neck, outlining the cheek. The white cheek, neck and lower crest streaks almost form a white triangle on the side of the face. Beneath the crest, the colour of the head deepens to a shimmering purple. The bright red eye, and orange bill stand out. The back and tail are a dark bronze-green. The sides grayish-brown and the chest purplish-brown with white markings.

Females have a more subtle colouration. They are drab brown, but retain a smaller, brownish crest. The eye has a white ring around it which extends in a line behind the eye. The chin and throat are also white. The breast is dark brown with white, mottled striping. The call is a high pitched 'oooh-eek', and may be the sole means of identifying this shy duck.

Similar Species: 

Range: This unique duck is not common in the Rockies, but is more prevalent in the northern part of the range.

Habitat: 

Diet: 

Nesting: Don't look for the nest on the ground. It nests in cavities in trees, high above the ground. The ducklings crawl to the opening, and then drop to the ground.

Search for recent Wood Duck sightings

Hire an expert guide to help you locate Wood Duck

Bird watching in the Canadian Rockies offers endless opportunities for seeing new species. Mountain Nature Network is your source for birding and bird biology.


All Material Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

Birds by Common Name:

 

Birds Listed by Latin Name: