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Wood Duck

Aix sponsa

  • Family: Waterfowl – Anatidae
  • Appearance: Males very brightly coloured, but females less conspicuous and easily confused with female Mandarin Duck, though slightly darker.
  • Size: Length 41–51 cm (16–20 in), wingspann 70–73 cm (27–28 in), weight 480–880 g (19–35 oz).
  • Nest: Holes in trees lined with down.
  • Breeding: 9–15 eggs incubated by females for about a month. Young birds able to fly within about two months.
  • Distribution: Of American origin, widely kept in collections around Europe. Escaped birds sometimes seen in Finland.
  • Migration: Migratory in northern parts of natural range, though sedentary further south.
  • Diet: Aquatic plants and parts of plants from the water surface or dabbled in shallow water. Also feeds on land, when will even eat nuts and seeds.

Reminiscent of Mandarin Duck, most easily distinguished in all plumages by darker base to beak, and fairly narrow streaks on flanks, as well as more extensive white markings around their eyes.

Adult males are easily recognisable. Their crowns and backs are a lustrous metallic green, while their necks and breasts are dark brown and spotted. They have yellowish brown bellies and darker brown rear underparts. Their heads and throats are marked black and white. They have red irises and a red beak with a black base.

Adult females and young birds resemble Mandarin Duck females and young, though they have more white around their eyes, their heads are darker, the white patch on their beaks is shaped differently, and the spots on their flanks are less pronounced. Females have dark brown eyes and yellowish green beaks with dark bases (unlike the paler beak bases of female Mandarin Ducks).

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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