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Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)

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Frank Bellrose and the Wood Ducks

In the 1800s, Wood Ducks were possibly the most abundant ducks east of the Mississippi. But the draining of wetlands, the cutting of forests, and market hunting caused precipitous declines. In 1918, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act completely banned the hunting of Wood Ducks for 23 years. This... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Wood Duck

The Wood Duck was once the most abundant duck east of the Mississippi River. But the draining of wetlands, forest fragmentation, and market hunting caused serious declines in their numbers. In 1918, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act banned hunting of Wood Ducks for 23 years. Federal regulation and... read more »

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Wood Ducks Succeed

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... read more »

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How Do Birds Brake from Flight?

Birds are often admired for their ability to fly. But braking just in time to avoid a crash landing is amazing by itself. How does a robin go from full-out flight to a dead stop at a tree? If we could watch in slow motion, we’d see it raising the angle of its wings higher and higher from the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  flight

Just Whose Ducklings Are Those?

It’s spring, and a female duck swims across a pond with ducklings in tow. Some of the youngsters might not be her own. Wood Ducks and others may lay some of their eggs in other ducks’ nests — or in the nests of other kinds of ducks, like Hooded Mergansers and goldeneyes. Biologists call this nest... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting
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