Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Wood Duck

A pair of Wood Ducks visited our Dundas banding station. Although I am not permitted to band waterfowl, we did enjoy the extravagant male and the more subtile, but no less beautiful, female. Wood Ducks are slim birds, able to nest in abandoned Pileated Woodpecker holes, and have large eyes so to more easily fly through woodlands.

In the early 1900s, birders feared Wood Ducks might become extinct—they were over-hunted, forests were being cut down, and wetlands drained. Numbers rebounded mid-century, perhaps due to legal protection and introduction of nest boxes along many waterways. Increasing beaver populations have also created more Wood Duck habitat.  Although less hunted than in previous years, Wood Ducks are still prized by hunters. In the eastern United States, this species comprises ten percent of the duck harvest, second Mallards in the number of birds killed (Hepp and Bellrose 1995).

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful birds. I put out 13 wood duck houses this year on Banfill Island on the river in Brooklyn Park. Nothing in the houses yet.Do you think this cold spring has pushed back the nesting times ? Check out my blog about my houses.