Wood Duck

If you live near water, put up a nest box and you may attract Wood Ducks to your yard. Make sure it has a 4x3-inch elliptical entrance and is 10 to 30 feet above the ground or 5 to 6 feet above water.


Michael R. Duncan
Wood Duck
Roland Jordahl
Wood Duck


Wood DuckMichael R. Duncan
Michael R. Duncan Wood Duck

Scientific Name: Aix sponsa.
Family: Duck.
Length: 18 inches.
Wingspan: 29 inches.
Distinctive Markings: Male has an iridescent “slicked-back” crest, red eyes, a bill striped with yellow, red, white and black, a bright-white “bridle” and boldly colored feathers on its body and wings. Female is an overall gray with some blue and purple wing markings, a white eye ring, brown eyes and a  duller bill.
Nest: Selects a natural cavity or a nest box, sometimes up to a mile away from water. Female lays 10 to 12 dull-white eggs.
Voice: Thin, squeaky whistles. Male uses a drawn-out “jeweeep” call, while females utter a loud “hoo-eek.”
Habitat: Wooded areas near lakes, ponds and streams. Will nest in parks or wooded backyards near water.
Diet: Aquatic plants, acorns, beechnuts, grapes and berries.
Backyard Favorite: Cracked corn.

Bird Song & Range Map

Listen to the Wood Duck’s song and learn where to spot them!

Bird songs provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Wood Duck Bird Species

Range maps provided by Kaufman Field Guides, the official field guide of Birds & Blooms.

Jill Staake
Jill lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes about gardening, butterflies, outdoor projects and birding. When she's not gardening, you'll find her reading, traveling and happily digging her toes into the sand on the beach.