Wood Ducks have a unique shape a boxy, crested head, a thin neck, and a long, broad tail and broad wings. In flight, they hold their head up high. In good light, males have a glossy green head cut with white stripes, a chestnut breast and buffy sides. In low light, they look dark overall with paler sides. Females are grey-brown with white-speckled breast. Males lose their pale sides and bold stripes in summer, but retain their bright eye and bill. Juvelines are similar to females. A typical adult is from 47 to 54 cm (19 to 21 in) in length with a wingspan of 66 to 73 cm (26 to 29 in).

Habitat and Distribution

Wood Ducks are found in wooded swamps, marshes, streams, beaver ponds, and small lakes.


These birds feed by dabbling or walking on land. They mainly eat berries, acorns, and seeds, but also insects, making them omnivores.


They usually nest in cavities in trees close to water, although they will take advantage of nesting boxes in wetland locations if available. Females line their nests with feathers and other soft materials. The Wood duck is the only North American duck that can produce two broods per season. Seven to fifteen white-tan eggs are laid, with incubation taking thirty days.

Calls and Songs

The male's call is a rising whistle, jeeeeee; the females utter a drawn-out, rising squeal, do weep do weep, when flushed, and a sharp cr-r-ek, cr-e-ek for an alarm call.