Wood Duck

While hiking the dike in the Skagit Wildlife Area on Fir Island, an opening in the vegetation revealed this handsome Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) swimming in Wiley Slough.  Wooded areas in the Skagit delta wetlands provide ideal habitat.  These "tree ducks" are monogamous, solitary nesters.  Up to fifteen eggs will be laid in the cavity of a tree and incubated by the hen according to iBird.

He was joined by his mate and the pair quickly disappeared behind the vegetation lining the dike.  This is a public hunting area, so the birds are wise to skedaddle.

Wood Ducks were almost hunted to extinction around the turn of the nineteenth century.  Efforts to restore populations included installing nest boxes in breeding areas and allowing beaver populations to increase.  Beavers help build the habitats desired by Wood Ducks by creating fresh water marshes with their damming.

As an aside, I see the terrific iBird Pro app for Android devices is currently on sale for $4.99 US at the Google Play store and at Amazon.


  1. Such a crazy-pretty bird. Like someone chose their favorite crayolas for this duck...


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