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Wood Ducks Returning

4-7-17 wood ducks 288Among the first groups of birds to move north in the spring are waterfowl. Many ducks, geese, and swans begin migrating as soon as frozen lakes and marshes start to thaw. Although an occasional Wood Duck is spotted in northern New England during the colder months, most winter further south (band recoveries indicate that in eastern U.S. about one-third of Wood Ducks are permanent residents and the others are migratory). They begin to be seen in open water in February and March but it is April before their numbers really swell, and sometimes it seems that on every stream and in every flooded field you can find at least one pair. With their distinctive plumage, it’s hard to miss them, especially the males. Soon they will be seeking out natural cavities in trees, including Pileated Woodpecker holes, in which to nest.

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6 responses

  1. Hi Mary! How exciting! I am going to go perch next to our little bit of tribuatary and watch for wood ducks and mergansers! We just got the return of yellow goldfinches yesterday! It’s so amazing to watch their color get brighter each spring!

    April 7, 2017 at 8:55 am

    • The tributary (I misspelled ) is the Rocky Branch of the Asquamchumauke River(some call it the Baker). I am proud of its first name given to it by the local Native Americans.

      April 7, 2017 at 9:00 am

  2. Cheron barton

    These are sooo beautiful!!

    Sent from my iPhone


    April 7, 2017 at 1:22 pm

  3. Alice Pratt

    How did Mother Natire get so many colors on one duck…& red eyes! Gorgeous.

    April 7, 2017 at 1:44 pm

  4. Love to see the returning Wood Ducks on our brook. Their distinct “shrill” when they take off is a definite clue.

    April 8, 2017 at 10:02 am

  5. Bill On The Hill...

    Mary… Late last spring on a motorcycle ride through the White Mountains, I stopped at the Crawford Notch State Park for a rest and I had the pleasure of seeing a male wood duck in all it’s beautiful splendor, I did not pack my camera gear that day, ( much to my angst! ) and headed back about a week later, camera with 400 mm at hand, No duck! 🙂

    April 8, 2017 at 12:06 pm

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