The wood duck is one of the most stunningly pretty of all waterfowl. Males are iridescent chestnut and green, with ornate patterns on nearly every feather; the elegant females have a distinctive profile and delicate white pattern around the eye. These birds live in wooded swamps, where they nest in holes in trees or in nest boxes put up around lake margins. They are one of the few duck species equipped with strong claws that can grip bark and perch on branches. A popular game bird, the wood duck is the second most commonly shot duck in the Mississippi and Atlantic flyways, where it comprises around ten percent of the annual waterfowl harvest. Despite this, it is now one of the most common breeding waterfowl species in North America, with a large and widespread population, which appears to be increasing. Perhaps the greatest future threat to the wood duck comes from habitat loss and degradation, due to the drainage of swamps and other human activities which alter or destroy forested wetlands— arkive.org; allaboutbirds.org

Wood ducks are extremely skittish. It is very hard to approach them even from a good distance. Best way to see them is to scout an area where they are active and get yourself in a hide and just wait. The sound they make is also very interesting, both the male and the alarm call of the female (call of the wild!) There's another way to get close to wood ducks. Go to Central Park in Manhattan. Most of the animals in Central Park are so accustomed to people that it is quite amaizing. There's at least one or two wood ducks that are so unafraid of people that one can get within 2-3 feet of one. That feels almost like being in a zoo. Too easy, no fun!
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