Wed

23

May

2012

Life on Distant Hill Blog ... Beautiful Wood Ducks

Wood Ducks Taking Flight

A female Wood Duck in flight at Distant Hill Gardens.
A female Wood Duck in flight at Distant Hill Gardens.

This pair of Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) visited the swimming pond at Distant Hill Gardens in the early morning. Because of the low light, I had to use a very high ISO "film" speed. This makes them look more like paintings than photos. Beautiful, none the less.

Wood Duck Facts

  • Natural cavities for nesting are scarce, and the Wood Duck readily uses nest boxes provided for it. If nest boxes are placed too close together, many females lay eggs in the nests of other females.
  • The Wood Duck nests in trees near water, sometimes directly over water, but other times up to 2 km (1.2 mi) away. After hatching, the ducklings jump down from the nest tree and make their way to water. The mother calls them to her, but does not help them in any way. The ducklings may jump from heights of up to 89 m (290 ft) without injury.
  • The Wood Duck is a popular game bird, and is second only to the Mallard in numbers shot each year in the United States.
  • Wood Ducks pair up in January, and most birds arriving at the breeding grounds in the spring are already paired. The Wood Duck is the only North American duck that regularly produces two broods in one year.

The above facts are thanks to allaboutbirds.org

 

A male Wood Duck taking off from the swimming pond at Distant Hill Gardens.
A male Wood Duck taking off from the swimming pond at Distant Hill Gardens.