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Wood Ducks Succeed

With a little help from their friends!

Your eye may be drawn to the gorgeous male Wood Duck, but it is the call of the modestly plumaged female you’ll hear. This call tells the male where his mate is, important as the pair stays together through much of the winter and spring. Wood Ducks are among a small number of North American waterfowl that nest in cavities, and many of them nest in boxes we provide for them.

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BirdNote®

Wood Ducks Succeed

This is BirdNote!
[Whoo-eek call of female Wood Duck]
Your eye may be drawn to the gorgeous male Wood Duck, but it’s the call of the less colorful female you’ll hear. She gives a loud whoo-eek [from recording] while in flight. Her call tells the male where his mate is, and that’s important as the pair stays together through much of the winter and spring.  Although you’re less likely to hear it, the male responds with this call: [Whistled call of male Wood Duck] In summer though, once the female is on the nest, the male deserts her. 

Wood Ducks are among a small number of North American waterfowl that nest in cavities in fairly large trees located in forested wetlands. They usually find a hole where a large branch has broken off and the heartwood has rotted out.
However, Wood Ducks are adapting rather well to humans and in winter they can be found in many city parks where they accept handouts along with resident Mallards.
[Duck pond sounds including Mallards]
The ability of Wood Ducks to modify their behavior and accept our presence, bodes well for their future. Many are now nesting in large boxes we provide for them.
[Whoo-eek call of female Wood Duck]
If you’d like to build a nest box for a Wood Duck, find plans on our website.  Or share a photograph of one of these gorgeous ducks, at birdnote.org.  I’m Mary McCann.
###
Calls of the Wood Duck provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Male recorded by G.B. Reynard; female and ambient by W.L. Hershberger.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2012 Tune In to Nature.org     June 2012     Narrator: Mary McCann
ID#060706WODUKPLU   WODU-02b

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