Many consider the Wood Duck to be North America’s most beautiful duck.
For a time in the early 1900’s it was considered an endangered species but it has responded well to more enlightened hunting policy.
It is still not common except in High Park.
The male is unmistakable with its greenish crest, white face, dark blue wings, partly red bill and yellowsih buff sides.
The female also has a bit of a crest but the “spectacles” around the eyes are its best field mark.
I will identify it at the end of the post.
The spikelike bill, dark head, bill and chest identify this as a female Hooded Merganser.
From Ruth Calman:
I just posted about the wood ducklings and grebe chicks and am forwarding a pic of the former in case you don’t have one for posting as people might be interested in seeing what they look like. It was mid day so light was quite harsh.
In May-time, when the lilac-plumes
Droop from the branch their purple blooms;
When chestnuts clap their leafy hands,
And every bud with joy expands;
When in the moist, sequester’d nooks
Of woods is heard the call of brooks,
The wood-duck builds its downy nest
Secure from prowling schoolboy’s quest. – Isaac McClellan