Plate 21: Wood Duck

Aix sponsa

Nests & Eggs: Wood Duck

Smaller than a mallard, these distinctive waterfowl are found in streams and overgrown ponds.

The male Wood Duck, thought by many to be the most beautiful American bird, is a gorgeous creature. It is little wonder that an Indian legend tells us that a little gray duck, while on a search for happiness, swam into the end of the rainbow and came forth the brilliant creature we now call the Wood Duck.

Agile almost as a perching bird, these ducks run about on the ground, snapping up insects, or swim buoyantly in quiet pools near the woodland they have selected as their summer home. In a cavity in a tree, sometimes at considerable distance from the water and at quite a height from the ground, the down-lined nest is built.

The young birds, it is said, clamber out of the nest and fall to the ground as best they can, without being helped by either parent. Surely, young birds which survive such an ordeal are prepared for the later battles of life!

Wood Ducks are fond of acorns and of the seeds of many aquatic plants. The young birds, like the adults, are amazingly agile and run about like young chickens, bright-eyed, attractive, and so small as to be fairly ludicrous as they race into the water for a swim!

An Introduction to the Birds of Pennsylvania
  • Print out the notebooking pages provided below.
  • Read the story, How the Wood Duck Gets Her Young to the Water, in Bird World out loud.
  • Have a younger student orally narrate what was read. He can then copy a few lines of his narration onto the notebooking pages.
  • Older students can read the text, Plate XXI: Wood Duck, and provide a written narration.
  • Sketch the bird. This encourages attention to detail, which will aid in identifying the bird later on. Another option is to use the printables provided below.
  • Sketch the nest of the bird, along with the eggs. Note where the nest is usually found.
  • Older students can include the taxonomy.
  • Learn more about the Wood Duck at Cornell.
  • On one notebooking page note the facts:
    • Description.
    • Habitat.
    • Range.
    • Food.
    • Nest.
    • Eggs.
    • Call.
Additional Resources

30 Narration Ideas
At some point you might appreciate some variety.

The Bird Study sections of our free nature study series: Our Wonderful World:

Free Nature Studies: Our Wonderful World
Printables & Notebooking Pages

Wood Duck Notebooking Pages
Free simple notebooking set.

Wood Duck
Bird picture for notebook.

Wood Duck Range Map
For notebook from Cornell.

Bird Facts Notebooking Page
One option in a more graphic organizer style that is especially nice for noting the facts and range.

Enjoy the entire series:


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