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AMERICAN WOOD DUCK

(Aix sponsa)

            Common name for a colorful duck found in southern Canada, the eastern and northwestern United States and Mexico. It lives in diverse freshwater habitats including woodland ponds, swaps, marshes, lakes slow moving rivers and forested wetlands. The northern most populations migrate south in the winter.

            The diet of the Wood Duck varies by season but mostly consists of seeds from aquatic plants. In the fall and winter it feeds on plant materials, including wild rice, pond weeds, and acorns. In spring and summer if feeds on insects such as beetles, mayflies, and locusts and also snails, tadpoles, crustaceans, small fish and amphibians. It forages while swimming in shallow water or while walking on the ground.

            The female Wood Duck lines the nest using her own down feathers, She incubates, or warms, the 9 to 15 dull white eggs by sitting on them for 25 to 35 days until they hatch. The morning after hatching, The female continues to care for them for five to six weeks. The young first fly about eight to nine weeks after hatching.