Wood duck

Due to inclement weather, Zoo will open at 12 p.m. noon February 19th

Aix sponsa

Considered one of the most stunning of all waterfowl, the wood duck's scientific name, Aix sponsa means "waterbird in bridal dress".

Wood duck Behavior and facts

  • Wood ducks are one of few waterfowl to commonly perch in trees.
  • Wood ducks have strong claws, which allow them to grip branches.
  • Wood ducks have bright red eyes and a reddish beak.
  • They forage or dabble for food in shallow water – eating seeds, aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates.
  • Wood ducks are the only North American duck that regularly produces two broods a year.

Life history

  • Unlike most waterfowl, the wood duck builds its nest in tree cavities near water.
  • Females usually lay 6-16 eggs, which they incubate for 25-37 days.
  • Ducklings are well developed and able to leave the nest on the same day that they hatch.
  • Young wood ducks leave the nest by jumping out of their tree cavity to the ground. The drop can sometimes exceed 100 feet.
  • Young are typically able to fly by the time they are 8-10 weeks old.


IUCN Least concern

Wood ducks, the Oregon Zoo and you

The zoo's wood ducks live in the Cascade Stream and Pond aviary.