Birds of the World

Anatidae : Swans, Geese & Ducks

American Wood Duck

Aix sponsa

Male - Washington D.C., USA - April 2001

In the late 19th century, Wood Ducks were often described as being "the most abundant duck" in North America, "with Mallards a close second".  By the 1930's it had been driven close to extinction in many areas through excessive hunting.  Thankfully, legislation was quickly brought in and hunting was limited in many states which, combined with the provision of nestboxes, allowed numbers to recover to a more healthy state by the 1970's.  It is still one of the most widely hunted ducks in the USA and around 250000 birds are shot each year.

Male & female - Washington D.C., USA - April 2001