Wood Duck

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“Aix sponsa. Wood Duck. Summer Duck. “The Bride.” Adult Male: Bill pinkish-white, with lake-red base, black ridge, tip, and under mandible; iris and edges of eyelids red; feet orange, with black claws. Upper part of the head, including crest, glistening green and purple; a narrow white line over eye from bill to occiput, and another behind eye to nape, these white lines mixing in the crest. A broad white patch on the throat, forking behind, one branch mounting head behind eye, the other passing to side of neck. Sides and front of lower neck and fore breast rich purplish-chestnut, prettily marked with several chain of angular white spots. A large white black-edged crescent of enlarged feathers in front of the wing. Under parts pure white, the sides yellowish-gray vermiculated with black and white wavy bars; the enlarged flank-feathers broadly rayed with black and white; the lining of the wings white barred with grayish-brown, of which color is the crissum. Upper parts generally lustrous with bronzy-green and purple; scapulars and inner secondaries velvet-black, glassed with purple and green; a green speculum, succeeded by white tips of the secondaries; primaries frosted on outer webs near end. Adult female: Little or no crest, but lengthened feathers on nape; no enlargement or special colorings of feathers about the wings. Bill dusky: feet yellowish-dusky. Head and neck gray, darker on crown, the chin and parts about bill and eyes white. Fore neck, breast and sides of body yellowish-brown, mottled with dark gray, the breast spotted with brown, the belly white. Upper parts dark brown with considerable gloss; wings as in the male, but the velvety-black reduced.” Elliot Coues, 1884


Birds: D-E


Elliot Coues Key to North American Birds (Boston, MA: Estes and Lauriat, 1884)


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