With its striking green crested head, white bridle, orange-reddish bill and eye, the drake Wood Duck,Aix sponsa, is a spectacular bird. It has a white flecked chestnut breast, yellow flanks and a black back. The hen has a white patch around the eye, white underside, brown back and sides mottled with tan and gray. Both sexes have steel blue wing patches.
Found in all flyways; most numerous in the Atlantic and Mississippi flyways and fewest in the Central. They are early migrants; most of them have left the northern States by mid-November.
Frequents wooded streams and ponds; perches in trees. Flies through thick timber with speed and ease and often feeds on acorns, berries, and grapes on the forest floors. Flight is swift and direct; flocks are usually small. In the air, their wings make a rustling, swishing sound.
Length: 18 1/2"
Weight: 1 1/2 lbs.
Drakes call hoo-w-ett, often in flight; hens have a cr-r-ek when frightened.