Wood Ducks side by side

I saw this pair of Wood Ducks at Green River recently.

The female Wood Duck flew in and landed on the water here in the middle of one of the retention ponds at the water management area off Green River Parkway, Martin County.

Such a pretty little duck, soft gray brown body with a striking white eye ring like a little Cleopatra.

Suddenly she was together with the male too. I didn’t see where he came from.

His red eye is eye-catching!

National Wildlife Federation: Wood Duck

The markings of the male wood duck include red eyes and a red bill with a yellow patch at the base. The top of the bird’s head and crest are a metallic purplish-green. The sides of the face are black, and a white stripe runs along the neck. A small white stripe also extends up each cheek. The chest and the rump are dark red, and the sides are a drab yellow with black and white stripes at the edges. The wood duck’s belly is white, its tail and back are black, and its wings are black and blue.

The males do not have the decorative markings all year-round. They use the colorful markings to attract females during the breeding season, which runs from autumn until the early summer. In the late summer, they grow gray feathers with blue markings on the wings and white markings on the face and neck. You can still recognize the bird as a wood duck by its red eyes and bill.

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