Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)

In the 1800s, wood ducks were extensively hunted for their feathers, meat, and eggs. This, combined with the loss of their breeding habitat to forestry, brought the wood duck to the brink of extinction by the early 1900s. A nest-box program, protection by the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the existence of healthy populations in remote areas, has aided in the recovery of this resilient species.


The wood duck has one breeding range in the west, and a second in the east. The eastern range extends from central Manitoba to the east-central United States, and from Saskatchewan to the Maritimes of Canada. The second range consists of the western United States and Canadian Pacific coasts. Winter migrants frequent the Pacific coast to the northern border of Mexico.

Breeding occurs in fresh water environments. For a complete species account, visit the Great Lakes section.