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Wood Duck

Mississippi State Waterfowl

Wood duck in tree (male); photo by Rick Leche on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / no derivative works).

Official State Waterfowl of Mississippi

Mississippi designated the wood duck (Aix sponsa) as the official state waterfowl in 1974.  Wood ducks have several characteristics that are unusual in the duck family.


Wood ducks nest in tree holes

After they hatch, the ducklings must jump from the nest to get to water.  They can jump from a nest fifty feet or more above ground without injury. 

Wood ducks are one of only a few duck species with strong claws, enabling them to grip bark and to perch in trees.  

Wood ducks are common along creeks and rivers, they like swamps and freshwater marshes.