Animal of the day – 5/12/2011 – The Wood Duck

The Wood Duck

The animal of the day is the Wood Duck. (Did you know: The Wood Duck was hunted nearly to extinction during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They were hunted for their pretty plumage! Management procedures have been successful and there are now well over a million Wood Ducks in North America.

Their round body shape makes them buoyant, so they sit higher in the water than other ducks.

Their feet are not only webbed for paddling in water but, since wood ducks spend so much time in trees, their feet have sharp claws — an adaptation for perching.

Wood ducks’ wings are broader than those of other ducks, making the birds adept at twisting and turning in flight. This maneuvering comes in handy when flying in and out of trees!

And last but not least, wood ducks go from being completely carnivorous as ducklings, to completely herbivorous as adults! Ducklings feed on water bugs, larvae and other insects, but as they get older they switch to acorns, nuts, grains and fruits!

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