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Wood ducks have a conspicuous crest. Males are boldly patterned with iridescent maroon, green and purple and have a distinctive white chin patch and a white-and-red bill. Females are grayish-brown with lighter flanks, a white belly and broad white eye-rings. The speculum is blue on both sexes.
On the wing, the wood duck’s white belly contrasts with the dark breast and wings. The head is held above the level of the body; the bill points down at an angle. The short neck and long square tail are conspicuous. The flight is swift and direct. Flocks are usually small.
Wood Duck Key Field Marks
Medium-sized dabbling duck with a long crest on head; long-winged and long-tailed; blue-green speculum with white rear border.