Wood Duck

Aix sponsa

About This Animal

SIZE: 18.5 inches

RANGE: Mainly eastern United States

HABITAT: Rivers, ponds and wooded swamps

DIET: Aquatic and terrestrial vegetation, small aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates

ON EXHIBIT:  Delta Swamp at River Journey 

The male is a brightly-colored mix of green, red, white and brown with a conspicuous crest.  The female is a much more subtly-colored mix of brown and gray with an obvious white “tear drop” around and behind the eye. 
Wood ducks nest in tree cavities sometimes several feet high above the ground and readily use artificial nest boxes.

At the turn of the century, over hunting for its plumage and habitat loss forced it to the verge of extinction.  Today the population is stable and they are very common in captivity.  The Tennessee Aquarium has a pair in the Delta Country exhibit.