Facts about Wood Ducks. Scientific name for Wood Duck "Anas Platyrhynchos" meaning - Wild dabbling duck from which domestic ducks are descended; widely distributed. From New Latin "anas" meaning (Duck) and the word Platyrhynchos comes from "platyrrhine", Ancient Greek meaning (broad snouted, flat-bridged nose).
"Wood Duck" is a genus of perching duck that is native to North America. The Wood Duck belongs to the Aix genus of the Anatidae family. The binomial name of the Wood Duck breed is Aix sponsa and it is one among the liveliest waterfowls in North America. Wood Duck can be seen throughout the year and they are the residents in the southern parts of their range, but the ducks living in the northern parts use to migrate south during the winter season. Wood Ducks stay overwinter in the southern parts of the United States close to the Atlantic coast.
Features of Wood Duck
The Wood Duck is an average-sized alighting bird with a body length, ranging from 19 inches to 21 inches (47 cm to 54 cm), with the wingspan varying from 26 inches to 29 inches (66 cm to 73 cm).
The adult male duck has unique colorful sparkling plumage and red eyes, with a distinct white flare down its neck. The female duck, which is less colorful than the male, has a white color eye-ring and a white color throat. Both male and female Wood Ducks boast crested heads.
The call of the male Wood Duck is an increasing whistle, whereas the female Wood Duck utters a drawn-out, rising yell, when flushed, and a sharp for a distress call.
A "bill" is what is call a Wood Ducks mouth. There are no teeth in the ducks bill, they have rows of thin bristles, which helps them to filter pieces of nutrition out of the water. Wood Ducks swallow there food whole and it goes to an organ called a gizzard, were the food is first ground up and than moves on to the stomach. The different bill shapes and sizes for finding food, has over time mutated to fit each environment. The Wood Duck bill is flat and broad and has rows of fine incision along the outer edge called "lamellae". meaning a thin membrane, plate, scale or layer, as of cell wall or bone tissue. The larnellae helps the Wood Duck to clutch food for feeding.
Diet of Wood Duck
The Wood Duck is an omnivores, (definition-they eat both other animals and plants). bird and it feeds through walking or dabbling on the ground. Wood Ducks mostly feeds on acorns, berries, and seeds, but it feeds on insects, as well.
Behavior of Wood Duck
The breeding habitat of the Wood Duck is forested swamps, shallow marshes, lakes or ponds, and streams in eastern parts of North America, western parts of Mexico and the west shoreline of the United States. Usually, Wood Ducks nest in tree cavities near water, even though they will make the most of nesting boxes in swamp locations if available. Female Wood Ducks line their nests by means of feathers and other soft stuffs, and the height offers some safety from predators. The Wood Duck is different from other ducks by having sharp claws for roosting in trees and the female duck is capable of producing two broods in one season.
Usually, the female Wood Duck lays 7 to 15 white-brown eggs, and it protects them for 30 days. However, if nesting boxes are positioned very close together, they may lay their eggs in the neighbor’s nest. If this happens, a nest may contain more than 30 eggs and the incubation will become unsuccessful. This sort of behavior in these ducks is called nest dumping.
Subsequent to hatching, the ducklings fall from the nest tree and they march towards water. They prefer nesting above the water, so the juvenile ducks have a soft landing, but will nest to a maximum distance of 460 feet (140 meters) away from the seashore. On the next day of the hatch, the ducklings climb to the entrance of the nest and jump to the land. They can swim and locate their own rations by this time.
The average lifespan of the Wood Duck is 15 years in the wild, whereas in the captive, they can live up to 20 years.
A Wood Duck is a Precocial (meaning) Born or hatched with the eyes open, a covering of hair or down, capable of a high degree of independent activity from birth and able to leave the nest just a few hours after hatching.
An male adult Wood Duck is called a (drake) and a adult female Wood Duck is called a (hen). A young baby Wood Duck is called a (duckling). A group of ducks is called a brace, raft, team, flock, or paddling. The female (hen) are usually a plain colored brown for hiding purposes to be camouflaged from their enemies when they are sitting in their nests.
Water-proof feathers of Wood Duck
A special feature that the Wood Duck has is its water-proof feathers, even when the Wood Duck dives underwater, its downy under-layer of feathers will stay totally 100% dry. There is a special gland called the "Preen Gland" also called Oil Gland or Uropygial, that produces oil that is near the Wood Ducks tail which covers and spreads the outer coat of the Wood Ducks feathers, which makes the duck water-proof.
Wood Ducks see in color with very good vision and can see well underwater. Wood Ducks fly in a “V” shape to makes flying easier.
underneath the water-proof coat are downy soft fluffy feathers which keep the Wood Ducks body warm. Wood Ducks keep clean by being able to turn their heads completely backwards, and put their beaks into their feathers by preening themselves.
Wood Ducks have webbed feet, that makes them act like paddles, designed for swimming. They push their webbed paddle feet back in a kicking motion, this allows the Wood Duck to move swift through the water and when the feet come back, they close for less water resistance. The duck's paddle feet do not feel cold, even when it swims in cold icy water. The webbed feet makes a Wood Duck waddle instead of walk. The Wood Ducks feet have capillaries which help blood flow to their feet. The warm blood flow down the leg and creates a heat exchange system. When the blood flows down the leg, it meets the cold blood and is warmed up to keep the Wood Ducks feet warm. Wood Ducks feet are thin because they contain soft tissue and few muscles.