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Wood Duck Fact Sheet

  • Latin Name

    Aix sponsa
  • Class

  • Order

  • Range

    Wood ducks range from southern Canada to northern Mexico, excluding some of the drier regions of the American Southwest.

  • Status

    Wood ducks were nearly hunted to extinction in the early 20th century, but the species has since rebounded thanks to conservation measures. They are regarded as a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

  • Habitat

    Wood ducks nest near bodies of water including lakes, rivers, streams and ponds.

  • Niche

    Wood ducks are omnivores, feeding on fruits, seeds, plants and insects. They are a social species, often gathering and migrating in groups.

  • Life History

    Female wood ducks are cavity nesters, meaning they occupy tree holes to incubate their eggs. Females line their nests with feathers and other soft materials, and the elevation provides some protection from predators. After the young hatch, the female wood duck leads them in leaping out of the nest to the ground below; after the fall, she guides her ducklings to the water.


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2001 North Clark Street • Chicago, IL 60614 • 312-742-2000

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