A banded Wood Duck Hen (female) swims ever so gently through the stream with a display of vibrant plumage.
The Wood Duck is a medium-sized perching duck. The female, less colorful, has a white eye-ring and a whitish throat. Both adults have crested heads. Females line their nests with feathers and other soft materials, and the elevation provides some protection from predators. Unlike most other ducks, the Wood Duck has sharp claws for perching in trees and can, in southern regions, produce two broods in a single season, the only North American duck that can do so.
Female Wood Ducks breed during their first year. The breeding season begins in April in the southern portion of the range. In northern areas, Wood Ducks arrive on the breeding ground soon after the ice thaws, usually in early May. There are, however, reports of Wood Ducks in Canada beginning to nest as early as the second week of April.
January 22nd, 2013
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