Wood Duck

Aix sponsa

In the picture you can see a swimming wood duck looking directly into the camera. IUCN Red List endangerment category: Least concern
  • Family
    Anatidae (Ducks, geese and swans)
  • Weight
    450 – 860 g
  • Habitat
    Woods near lakes, rivers or other wetlands

Leap of faith

Wood ducks love nesting high up in tree cavities or nest boxes, up to 10 m above the ground. The female lays an egg every day over a two-week period. At just one-day-old, chicks follow the mother’s call out of the nest and make an incredible leap of faith to the ground. Due to their small size and light weight, they usually remain unharmed on impact. The female will then lead her offspring to the nearest body of water, where the chicks begin to learn to forage for insects, plants or seeds.

Like a cuckoo

Female wood ducks occasionally lay their eggs in the nest of other females. This brood parasitism mainly occurs in regions where there is a large population of wood ducks and no nest can be found. But even if a female has already laid some of her eggs in another female’s nest, she can still lay any subsequent eggs in her own nest, provided one can be found.

Basics of life

Through adaption to life in the forest, the wood duck has the largest eyes and proportionally the widest wings of all the duck species.