wood duck

wood duck
a North American duck, Aix sponsa, that nests in trees, the male of which has a long crest and black, chestnut, green, purple, and white plumage.
[1770-80, Amer.]

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North American duck (Aix sponsa, family Anatidae); a popular game bird.

Wood ducks, 17–21 in. (43–52 cm) long, nest in a tree cavity up to 50 ft (15 m) off the ground; they have long-clawed toes for perching. Both sexes have a head crest in winter. The beautifully coloured male has a purple and green head, red-brown breast flecked with white, and bronze sides; the female has a white eye ring and duller colouring. Ducklings eat aquatic insects and other small organisms; adults prefer acorns or other nuts. Hunted nearly to extinction for its flesh and feathers, it has been restored to healthy populations by strong conservation efforts.

Drake wood duck (Aix sponsa)

Grant Heilman

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also called  Woodie 

      (Aix sponsa), small colourful North American perching duck (family Anatidae), a popular game bird. Once in danger of extinction from overhunting and habitat destruction, the species has been saved by diligent conservation efforts. Wood ducks nest in tree cavities up to 15 metres (50 feet) off the ground. The construction of artificial nest boxes, placed atop poles over and about bodies of water, was instrumental in halting the decline of breeding populations.

      The wood duck is about 43–52 centimetres (17–20.5 inches) long. Both male and female have a characteristic head crest (absent in eclipse—or summer—plumage). The crest of the male has two longitudinal white stripes. His purple and green head, red-brown breast flecked with white, and bronze sides are readily identifiable. The distinguishing feature of the female is a white eye-ring; her body is a sooty gray-brown, with white throat and white streaked breast. An average clutch contains about 12 eggs; the ducklings hatch in about 30 days, and the next day they follow the female from the nest, jumping as far as 15 m to the ground unharmed. The ducklings eat aquatic insects and other small organisms; adult woodies prefer acorns—or other nuts, depending on habit—to other foods.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wood duck — Wood Wood, n. [OE. wode, wude, AS. wudu, wiodu; akin to OHG. witu, Icel. vi?r, Dan. & Sw. ved wood, and probably to Ir. & Gael. fiodh, W. gwydd trees, shrubs.] [1913 Webster] 1. A large and thick collection of trees; a forest or grove; frequently …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • wood duck — wood′ duck n. orn a tree nesting North American duck, Aix sponsa, the male of which has iridescent green and purple plumage with white facial markings • Etymology: 1770–80, amer …   From formal English to slang

  • wood duck — ☆ wood duck n. a brilliantly colored North American duck (Aix sponsa) that nests in hollow trees near woodland lakes …   English World dictionary

  • Wood Duck — See also Australian Wood Duck. Wood Duck Male in the Ouwehands Dierenpark, Netherlands …   Wikipedia

  • wood duck — noun showy North American duck that nests in hollow trees • Syn: ↑summer duck, ↑wood widgeon, ↑Aix sponsa • Hypernyms: ↑duck • Hyponyms: ↑wood drake • …   Useful english dictionary

  • wood duck — /ˈwʊd dʌk/ (say wood duk) noun 1. an endemic Australian duck, Chenonetta jubata, with a dark maned head, common on wetlands throughout southern Australia. 2. the North American duck, Aix sponsa. 3. Colloquial a customer, as at a used car saleyard …  

  • wood duck — noun Date: 1777 a showy American duck (Aix sponsa) which nests in tree cavities and the males of which have a large crest and iridescent plumage varied with green, purple, black, white, and chestnut …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • wood duck — noun A colorful North American duck, Aix sponsa, that nests in hollow trees …   Wiktionary

  • wood duck — noun a tree nesting North American duck, the male of which has brightly coloured plumage. [Aix sponsa.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • Wood duck — (car sales) one who is easily duped; a naive customer; one who gives in easily in the bargaining …   Dictionary of Australian slang

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