Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Watery Wednesday: Wood Ducks

Thank heaven for wood ducks. If it were not for wood ducks I would pretty much just have mallards and Canada geese to photograph on most of the ponds and lakes around here this year.
I found this pair of wood ducks swimming in one of the pools at the Wood Lake Nature Center. They are particularly beautiful at this time of year when they are in their breeding plumage, especially the male who needs all of that color to attract a mate. This usually happens back in January while the wood duck are still in their winter territory. The pair will then fly north together to the breeding territory.
Wood ducks are pretty common at Wood Lake. One reason for this is the availability of nesting sites that can be found at the nature center. Wood ducks typically nest in tree cavities about 4 or so feet above the ground which are located near to water. If tree cavities are not available wood ducks will nest in man made objects such as nesting boxes. There are quite a few wood duck boxes placed around the nature center. The female will line these boxes with some of her own down feathers to make a soft bed for her clutch of 6 to 40 eggs, typically 11 to 14. The eggs take around 30 days to incubate. The chicks are able to leave the nest about 24 hours after they hatch. When it is time to leave mom beckons to the chicks to follow here to the near by water. This can be quite daunting for the chicks since the nest is usually 3 to 4 feet off the ground.

11 comments:

Chris said...

Hi,
These wood ducks are amazingly colorful and beautiful. I love them very much and your pictures with the reflection are wonderful. Well done.

Gaelyn said...

They are beautiful, although the lady seems to be having a bad hair day. If I had 11 little ones to look after I guess I would too.

The Early Birder said...

Great reflection of the male's helmet.

Guy D said...

Excellent shots and info, I love the reflections.

Cheers
Guy
Regina In Pictures

VALKYRIEN said...

That is some colorful and funny looking ducks! Gorgeous! And lovely reflections in the water!

Thanks for the info!

mitt vattenhål said...

Great colourful birds. Haven't seen any if them in Sweden. My contribution this week can be found in Sweden but is quite rare. In London they were common and I just love their colours so have a look ;-)

Pam said...

The wood ducks have such wonderful colors. Nice shot.

Karen said...

The ducks are so colourful and I love the way they are reflected in the glassy water..

Tammie Lee said...

stunning critters and I love the reflections you captured.

2sweetnsaxy said...

Nice shots. I've only seen the wood ducks and one spotwhere I visit. They really are beautiful.

yen said...

very nice photograph of the wood duck.