Biology and management of wood ducks in Missouri
Wood ducks (Aix sponsa) are one of Missouri's most beautiful water birds and are found throughout the state. Adult males have a large purple and green crested head and a burgundy chest with white flecks. This colorful plumage is most noticeable during the breeding season. Adult females are gray brown with a distinct white, teardrop-shaped eye ring. They are commonly found in forested and woodland habitats near or next to creeks, sloughs, ponds and streams. They also use forested areas that are flooded. Thanks to conservation efforts, the wood duck population has rebounded from low numbers in the early 20th century. Quality wood duck habitats include food sources, water and cover for nesting and brood-rearing in close proximity. These components are typically found in forested wetlands, emergent marshes, shrub swamps and riparian areas next to streams and other water environments. These birds and habitats can exist in urban wetlands and stream areas, too. Whether large or small in acreage, your property can offer quality wood duck habitat.
Archive version. For the most recent information see extension.missouri.edu.