Wood Duck Pair

There is a hidden cove in Anderson River Park in Northern California where birders know they can almost always find Wood Ducks (Axi sponsa).

Since I hadn’t been to Anderson River Park for awhile, I stopped by last week and found some Wood Ducks at the usual spot. Click on photos for full sized images.

Wood Duck Pair in Common Habitat

There were five Wood Ducks in the cove this early April morning, four males and one female.

Wood Duck Male

This male appeared to be the mate of the female watching from the log.

Wood Duck Male

I shot some video footage of what appears to be pair bonding behavior between them.

I thought that maybe this female was waiting for just the right time to begin nesting.

Wood Duck Female

The male that seems to be guarding her is the one gazing at her from  just below the log.

Wood Duck Female on Log

He is a handsome fellow.

Wood Duck Male

I’m sure that within the next couple of months they will have a brood of ducklings to raise.

Wood Duck Pair

Well, at least she will have a brood to raise, since the male doesn’t contribute to rearing the young.

I always love watching this National Geographic video of the ducklings first day, when they sometimes have to jump out of nest sites that are 70 feet or higher in a tree cavity.

If you really want to see an awesome documentary on ducks, you can watch the full “Duckumentary” on Nature here. The first eight minutes are dedicated to the Wood Duck nesting activities with great video of the ducklings jumping 70 feet down to land on the forest floor. No water landing for these ducklings!

Written by Larry
Larry Jordan was introduced to birding after moving to northern California where he was overwhelmed by the local wildlife, forcing him to buy his first field guide just to be able to identify all the species visiting his yard. Building birdhouses and putting up feeders brought the avian fauna even closer and he was hooked. Larry wanted to share his passion for birds and conservation and hatched The Birder's Report in September of 2007. His recent focus is on bringing the Western Burrowing Owl back to life in California where he also monitors several bluebird trails. He is a BirdLife Species Champion and contributes to several other conservation efforts, being the webmaster for Wintu Audubon Society and the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Urban Bird Foundation. He is now co-founder of a movement to create a new revenue stream for our National Wildlife Refuges with a Wildlife Conservation Pass.