Aix sponsa

Common Names: Wood Duck
Category: Birds
Sub-category: Ducks, Geese, & Swans

The Wood Duck is one of the most beautiful ducks in Connecticut, but also very shy of humans. An adult is typically 19 to 21 inches in length with a wingspan of 26 to 29 inches. It is smaller than an adult mallard. The adult male has distinctive multicolored iridescent plumage and red eyes,with a distinctive white flare down the neck. The female is less colorful and has a white eye-ring and a whitish throat.

Their breeding habitat is wooded swamps, shallow lakes, marshes or ponds, and creeks. They usually nest in cavities in trees close to water, although they will take advantage of nesting boxes in wetland locations if available. Unlike most other ducks, the wood duck has sharp claws for perching in trees. Woods ducks in Connecticut will fly south for the winter.

Edible Notes: Wood duck meat is edible. They were once over-hunted and in serious decline in the late 19th century. Farm-raised domestic duck is commonly available in supermarkets in Connecticut and is a good alternative. Duck meat (domestic) is a common dish in Asian restaurants, especially Thai cuisine.
Warnings: Woods ducks are not known to be dangerous.