Wood Ducks

Jet Eliot

Wood Duck, male, Calif. Wood Duck, male, Calif.

One of America’s most beautiful ducks, Aix sponsa favor wooded shallow lakes, ponds, and slow-moving rivers and creeks.  Equipped with sharp claws for perching in trees, they nest in large tree cavities near water.  They will also utilize nest boxes.  Read more here.

Although the wood duck population was abundant in eastern North America in Audubon’s time (1785-1851), it experienced a serious decline in the late 19th century.  Since then the population has recovered due primarily to two activities:  legal protection and wildlife management.

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 placed a federal ban on hunting migrating birds from 1918 to 1941.  The ban helped the population recover.

Wood Duck pair, Lindo Lake, Calif. Female in front, male in back Wood Duck pair, Lindo Lake, Calif. Female in front, male in back

Beyond the federal ban, nest boxes for the wood ducks are another reason for the population’s recovery.  Local communities have been successful in encouraging…

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