This is a species to gladden the eye, considered by many to be the most beautiful of our ducks. For a time in the early 1900’s it was considered an endangered species but it has responded well to a more enlightened hunting policy and’ though still not common, it graces many a marsh and swamp in southern Ontario. It breeds high in trees in large holes or in Wood Duck boxes suitably placed.
At close quarters the beautiful male is unmistakable with its greenish crest, white face, dark blue wings, partly red bill and yellowish buff sides. The female also has a bit of a crest but the “spectacles” around the eyes are its best field mark. In flight the absence of conspicuous white on the wings and the big head are suggestive. When flushed in its breeding swamps it goes off with loud squeals, unlike the note of any other duck.