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Wood Ducks Make Unique Parents

These breeding and parenting practices have led to success for wood ducks.


wood-duck-diagram-april

  • Pick early: Choosing mates as early as January, most arrive to spring breeding grounds paired up.
  • Nest high: Wood ducks nest in existing tree cavities or in elevated human-made nest boxes.
  • Don’t play favorites: Females often engage in egg dumping (or laying eggs in another wood duck’s nest). Victims of egg dumping will incubate the imposter eggs and raise the ducklings as their own.
  • Expect big things: Shortly after the ducklings hatch, the female leaves the nest and calls for them to join her. Lucky ducklings have a short run or scramble to the water, but some will jump from as high as 50 feet on to solid ground without injury.

 

Nest Jumpers:

See This Bird!!!

Each month during our 2016 Bird the Preserves initiative, we’re giving you the opportunity to see some of the most interesting birds in the preserves:

Birding in Your Preserves – Waterfowl at McGinnis
Friday, April 1, 2016 • 10 am
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont

Birding in Your Preserves – Waterfowl at McGinnis
Wednesday, April 6, 2016 • 10 am
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont

Birding in Your Preserves – Waterfowl at McGinnis
Friday, April 8, 2016 • 10 am
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont

Palos Area Waterfowl Field Trip
Saturday, April 9, 2016 • 7:30 am
McGinnis Slough, Orland Park

Big Year Birding at Paul Douglas
Sunday, April 10, 2016 • 7:30 am
Grassy Ridge Meadow, Hoffman Estates

Skokie Lagoons Big Year Birding Field Trip
Saturday, April 16, 2016 • 7 am
Erickson Woods, Winnetka

Penny Road Pond Big Year Field Trip
Friday, April 22, 2016 • 7 am
Penny Road Pond, Barrington

 

Support for Bird the Preserves was generously provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through Chicago Wilderness.

Visit two of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County