Waterfowl Commonly Seen in Practice

Wood duck

Wood Duck

The wood duck (Aix sponsa) is found on the east coast of North America from Nova Scotia to Florida. Its range extends to the Gulf of Mexico in the south and into the Midwest. On the west coast, wood ducks are found from British Columbia to the Mexican border. Wood ducks occupy a wide variety of freshwater habitats, but this perching duck prefers sheltered water, like rivers, ponds and wooded swamps, with trees.

Wood ducks typically weigh between 0.5-0.7 kg (1.1-1.5 b). Both male and female adults have a crest on top of their head, a long, rectangular tail, white bellies and white lines on the back of the wings.

  • The male’s crest is iridescent green with two white lines that run parallel to the base of the bill and behind the eye to the back of the head. Males also have red eyes, red at the base of the bill, rust-colored chests, bronze sides, and black backs and tails.
  • Females are brown-gray with white eye rings, white throats and gray chests. Juvenile wood ducks resemble adult females.

Wood ducks are omnivores. They feed on nuts, fruits, aquatic plants, seeds and grains, aquatic insects and other invertebrates.

Image by Kevin Cole

References

American Livestock Breeds Conservancy website. Available at: http://albc-usa.org/. Accessed on December 7, 2012.
Animal Diversity Web. Available at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Aix_sponsa/. Accessed December 08, 2012.

British Waterfowl Association. Available at: http://www.waterfowl.org.uk/index.html. Accessed on December 8, 2012.

Cosley zoo. White Pekin duck. Available at
http://www.cosleyzoo.org/species/white_pekin_duck.htm. Accessed on December 7, 2012.

Pedynowski D, Payne M. Captive-rearing and release criteria for mallards (Anas playtrhynchos). NWRA. Pp. 91-101.

Rogers Luebbert JA. Canada goose (Branta canadensis) rehabilitation: A natural history guide for veterinarians. Proc Assoc Avian Vet 1996. Pp. 245-251.

Sibley DA. The Sibley Guide to Birds. New York, NY; Alfred A. Knopf; 2000.

Speer BL. Pet waterfowl medicine and surgery. Annu Conf Proc MASAAV 2007. Pp. 90-92.

To cite this page: Pollock C. Waterfowl commonly seen in practice. December 19, 2012. LafeberVet Web site. Available at https://lafeber.com/vet/waterfowl-commonly-seen-in-practice/