The Wood Duck

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"What an ornament to a river, to see that glowing gem floating in contact with its waters!" ~Henry David Thoreau

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Photo by Rob Whitney Jr.Perhaps it does take a poet to describe one of North America’s most brilliant birds. Long hailed for its grace and beauty, the Wood Duck's story is marked by both tragedy and triumph. Once one of the most abundant species of waterfowl in North America, the Wood Duck was hunted to near extinction during the late 1800's and early 1900's. Knowledge gained through research into the bird's habitat and lifestyle has allowed mankind to reverse some of the damage they had caused, preventing the imminent disappearance of a truly awesome creature.                    

The photo above depicts two Wood Ducks, a drake and hen. Unlike many species of ducks the drake is elaborately colored, with distinct color patterns. Even the hen is gaudy next to hens of other species.

First, learn how the Wood Duck is classified.

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