Kimbel Pond Wood Duck Box Camerablue bird camera

Wood Duck Basics

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Snapshots from the Wood Duck Cam

 

Birds on the boardwalk Birds flying off of boardwalk Blue heron stretches out

Wood shavings were place in the box to make the artificial cavity more suitable for nesting. Extra material was observed in the nest on April 2 and was identified as down feathers. What placed these feathers in the box?

A female wood duck was first seen in the nest box on the night of April 4. She probably had been using the box for several days but went undetected as ten eggs were counted the next day when she left the box! These eggs were laid over the course of several days as birds typically produce one egg a day. (image of hen taken on April 4)

The female wood duck has continued to sit on the eggs for most of the day and night since April 6. We think she has finished laying her eggs and is now focused on incubating them – a process that takes 28-37 days. (another image of female on eggs taken April 6)

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Wood Duck Basics

Wood ducks are one of the most beautiful ducks and can be seen year-round in South Carolina, hence their local name “summer duck.” Males sport an iridescent green head and striking dark and light patterns that help them blend into the wooded wetlands with patchy sunlight where they live. Female wood ducks are less colorful but are easily recognized by their distinct profile and almond-shaped white ring around their eyes. Wood ducks live in swamps, freshwater wetlands and ponds.

 

Wood Duck Nesting

Wood ducks nest in natural tree cavities anywhere from two to sixty feet high, usually over or near water. Natural cavities can be scarce and wood ducks will readily use nest boxes. The female lines the cavity or box with down feathers that she pulls from her breast. She lays 6-16 eggs and incubation is 28-37 days. Chicks hatch with a full coat of down and leave the nest a day after hatching. The mother calls to them and they jump out of the cavity entrance to join her. The chicks will stay with mom and learn how to forage for food.

 

What do Wood Ducks eat?

Plant materials including seeds and fruits as well as invertebrates such as beetles, snails and flies are eaten by wood ducks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserve System University of South Carolina Baruch Institute-USC Belle W. Baruch Foundation