Finding and watching wood ducks has been a fun part of birding this season. These ducks travel together in pairs and small groups and live in wooded swamps or marshes. They don’t nest on the ground, but in holes in trees or in nest boxes put up for their convenience. Though this might seem strange, these ducks have strong claws that can grip bark and allows them to perch on branches (or boxes). I have seen them come in and out of these boxes, but I have yet to see any young ones. Since the wood duck is the only North American duck to have two broods in one year, I am still hopeful!
How do the ducklings get out of the box or tree when they hatch? The mother calls them and leads the way, but otherwise, they are on their own. At her call, they jump out of their nest–either directly into the water or they waddle their way there. The ducklings are able to jump from heights of over 50 feet. Those little legs don’t seem capable of that, but they’re stronger than they look.
Enjoy the pictures of these beautiful birds and, hopefully, I will post more before summer’s end.