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.