The flight of the baby Wood Duck
Among the most colorful waterfowl in North America
Wood ducks are unique to North America and found nowhere else in the world
In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s the wood duck populations were at an all-time low when habitat destruction and overharvesting decimated their populations. Thanks to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and the installations of artificial nest boxes, the Wood duck recovery is a celebrated wildlife success story.
WOOD DUCK BOXES
Wood ducks are cavity-nesting ducks because they search for tree holes made by woodpeckers, decay wildfire or lightning. Suitable natural cavities are in short supply, and wood ducks readily accept the constructed alternatives. Nest sites are typically wooded areas (wood duck) near ponds or marshes. If you would like to build a wood box in your own yard scroll down the page to find the instructions.
Photo by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Harlan Albers
Day old ducklings getting ready to make their leap into Willow Creek below to join their mother.
THE LEAP THAT BEGINS IT ALL
Just one day after hatching (occasionally up to 4 days), wood ducklings must take their first step, or shall we say, take a leap of faith?
One by one, the ducklings jump from their nest, which can be over 65 feet above the ground. They are so light that the fall does not harm the little ducklings. They make their way to water as their mother calls to them.
HELP LOCAL WOOD DUCK POPULATIONS
Installing and monitoring a wood duck nest box in your yard can help local populations thrive.
Download the Wood Duck Nest Box instructions to see if your yard is a good place to install one.
Here is a terrific video of tiny wood ducks leaping from their nests. Click here to view