Also known as a “Carolina duck,” the Latin name for the species is Aix sponsa.
With a broad tail and short, broad wings, Wood Ducks are highly maneuverable in flight. So, unlike most waterfowl, Wood Ducks are comfortable flying through wooded areas. And, because Wood Ducks have sharp claws, they are able to perch and nest in trees.
The iris of the adult male’s eyes is red. His crested head is iridescent green and purple with a white stripe leading from his eye to the tip of his crest. There’s another narrower white stripe that stretches from the base of his bill to the point of his crest. His throat is white, and his chest is burgundy with white flecks that gradually transition to a white belly. His bill is brightly patterned black, white and red. And his legs and feet are a dull straw yellow.
They are omnivores, eating insects, berries, acorns, and seeds.
Although Wood Ducks usually nest in the cavities of trees close to water, they will also take advantage of nesting boxes in wetland locations. They prefer nesting over water so the young have a soft landing, but will nest up to about 150 yards from the shoreline