Wood Duck: 15 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Amusing wood duck facts for everyone.

The wood duck (Aix sponsa) is a perching bird that thrives in the United States and Canada. During the breeding season, it is mostly found in Mississippi Alluvial Valley. The wood duck migration occurs in the winter season. It prefers woodland regions with some source of water. It builds its nest in the tree cavity. The inner part of the nest is usually lined with soft substances. Female ducks lay eggs between early spring and all summer. The clutch size of this duck is 7-15 eggs. The color of these eggs is white tan.

This duck species is colorful and has different coloration over their body, making them unique from other ducks. Previously, the population of the wood duck was declining, but it is stable now. The wood duck house is an artificial house built for its protection and to increase the population of this species. Both adults have red eyes, a red bill, and a crest on the head. They also have beautiful plumage, which makes them one of the most beautiful and colorful waterfowls. The young ones of this duck wood are precocial, which means after hatching, it can swim immediately in water.

To know more about birds, you can also check out these great green macaw facts and kea parrot facts.

Wood Duck

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Insects, seeds, berries, acorns

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

7-15 eggs

How much do they weigh?

16.0-30.4 oz (453.5-861.8 g)

How long are they?

19-21 in (48.2-53.3 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?


Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Habitat loss, hunting

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Wooded swamps, lakes, marshes, ponds


North America





Scientific Name

Aix sponsa





Wood Duck Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a wood duck?

The wood duck, also known as the Carolina duck, is a beautiful perching duck species.

What class of animal does a wood duck belong to?

The wood duck is a North American waterfowl that belong to the class Aves of phylum Chordata.

How many wood ducks are there in the world?

According to their range in North America, the population status of wood ducks is stable. The population size in the Atlantic region is approximately 1.07 million breeding individuals, whereas, in Mississippi flyways, the count is roughly 1.65 million breeding adults. However, there are nearly 60,000 individual wood ducks in the Pacific and around 76,000 individuals in the central flyways. The largest population of this species is present along the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic offshore south of New Jersey.

Where does a wood duck live?

The wood duck distribution is a permanent resident of the southern range, but the population in the northern range travel south to overwinter near the Atlantic coast. They are temporarily established in Great Britain. Although, they are not believed to be self-sustaining compared to other closely related species of mandarin duck. The wooden duck is also found naturally in Western Europe and also in Scotland, Cornwall, and the Islands of Sicily. This bird is a popular captivity species because of its beautiful plumage. In Dublin, there is a tiny feral population.

What is a wood duck's habitat?

Wood duck habitat includes marshes, woodland with trees, shallow lakes, ponds, wooded swamps, ditches in Eastern North America, the west seashore of the US, and western Mexico. It is a migratory bird that spends its winter in cooler climates. In the summer, it can be found in the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest. It prefers regions that have a combination of water habitats and forests.

Who do wood ducks live with?

Whether wood ducks live alone or in groups is unknown. But, they are believed to live with their kids like other ducks.

How long does a wood duck live?

The wood duck's life span is between 3-4 years, but it can live up to 15 years.

How do they reproduce?

The wood ducks are North American birds that build their nest in the tree cavities near water, although they also use the nesting box or wood duck box in various wetland locations. The mother chooses to build the nest near water so that the young have a smooth landing. In the late winter, wood ducks initiate making pair, and breeding occurs at the start of spring. During courtship display, males try to attract females with their soothing call and multicolored iridescent breeding plumage. After mating, both adults construct a nest in a tree cavity. However, due to habitat loss, the tree cavities are becoming rarer and rarer. Females (North American duck) produce two broods in a single season. The female wood ducks line their nest with soft materials, such as feathers and hair. In the breeding season, females lay from 7-15 white-tan eggs. The average incubation period is 30 days. After hatching, the young ducks climb to the entrance of the nest cavity with their tiny feet, then jump off from the nest tree to the surface, and approach the water.

What is their conservation status?

Earlier, the population of wood ducks was declining due to several factors, and by the start of the 20th century, they practically vanished from much of their range. As a result, the Migratory Bird Treaty was created in 1916, and the United States Migratory Bird Treaty Act was approved in 1918. They tried to recover the wood ducks populations. Around 1920, the population began to rebound. In the '30s, the creation of development of nest boxes provides a supplementary boost to species production. Increasing beaver populations in the range of wood ducks also helped to recuperate the duck population as the beaver's form a perfect habitat for them. The population has been enhanced in the last numerous years, and the credit goes to the people who constructed wood duck nest boxes. Presently, the conservation status of wood ducks is of Least Concern.

Wood Duck Fun Facts

What do wood ducks look like?

Wood ducks have red eyes and a red bill. The head and crest color are purple-green. These birds have a white stripe on the neck and a white stripe on the edge of the cheeks. The color of the chest and rump is bright red. The sides are yellow with a black and white line at the corners. The belly is white, but the tail and back of the body are black. The duck's wings are blue-black. The decorative color marking in males occurs only in the breeding season to attract females. At the end of the summer, males develop gray feathers with blue patches on the wings and white patches on both neck and face. Females are gray-brown, and their most important feature is present on the head. The color of the head and there is a white ring that surrounds the eyes. Male duck's feet are dull yellow, whereas female ducks have gray-yellow feet.

Duck wood has a body coloration of green, white, brown, black, yellow, and red.

How cute are they?

With multicolor iridescent plumage, wood ducks look adorable. They are some of the cutest and most colorful animals in the world.

How do they communicate?

Wood ducks communicate through vocalizations. Some sounds of these birds include 'jeeeeeee,' 'do weep do weep,' and a high-pitched cr-e-ek.

How big is a wood duck?

The wood duck size is 19-21 in (48.2-53.3 cm), which is 20 times bigger than a trumpeter swan.

How fast can a wood duck fly?

The average flying speed of wood duck (Aix sponsa) is 30 mph (48.28 km/h).

How much does a wood duck weigh?

The weight of wood duck is between 16.0-30.4 oz (453.5-861.8 g). They are about 22 times lighter than the largest duck, the Muscovy duck!

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female wood ducks have no specific names, separately.

What would you call a baby wood duck?

The baby wood duck is called a duckling or young.

What do they eat?

Wood ducks are North American birds that feed on berries, seeds, acorns, and insects. The main predators are owls, raccoons, red foxes, and black rat snakes.

Are they dangerous?

No, wooden ducks are not dangerous birds.

Would they make a good pet?

It is not legal to keep wood ducks as pets because they are protected bird species.

Did you know...

Wood ducks' feet have sharp claws that help them grip bark and climb trees.

Wood duck meat is considered to be a good delicacy in many countries, and it can be found in high-rated restaurants.

What month do wood ducks lay eggs?

The wood duck's egg-laying season is from early January to May.

Why is it called 'wood duck'?

Wood ducks got their name because of the fact that they build their nest in the woods of trees. These birds also take advantage of nest boxes build by humans.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these great hornbill facts or boreal chickadee facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable parrot mask coloring pages.



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