Field NotesWOOD DUCK

Male Wood Duck watching me from a tree branch.

Female Wood Duck watching me from a tree branch.

Male Wood Duck near the ground watching me from behind branches.

Male Wood Duck eyeing me and calling.

Wood Duck are a colorful, beautiful duck. They have an interesting crest at the back of the their head, almost like a swept back ponytail of hair. The coloration of the male makes it easy to identify. They live near water as all ducks do, but Wood Duck are often found around and in trees. They will also nest in man-made duck houses, as seen in one of the photos.

The Wood Duck in most of these photos were very wary of me as I hiked down a trail into the woods alongside a marshy region. At the time I'd never seen Wood Duck in trees before. I heard their call above me, looked up and saw a male and female flying from tree branch to tree branch. They watched me closely and if I approached too close to their tree they would fly to another. When I noticed this I slowed my approach and tried not to disturb them. Fascinating birds.

Female Wood Duck flying towards duck house during nesting season. It was amazing watching her fly right into the hole in the box.