Wood Duck Pair Head Study
This print is from the original oil by Daniel F. Heuer. It is available in a limited edition and open edition.
No other duck in North America can compete with the spectacular beauty of the wood duck. This duck’s Latin name takes into account its beauty. Sponsa means betrothed, as if this bird were plumed in its entire bright array for its wedding. Yet, the wood duck is not conceited; far from flaunting its beauty, it is a shy, retiring denizen of woodland lakes and streams. During the l930s, the wood duck was so scarce that it was given absolute protection wherever lit was found. A combination of overshooting during the early l900s and more importantly the widespread tree felling during World War l deprived the wood ducks of their nesting hollows, and their population plummeted. Since then, starting in the late l940s the construction of wooden nesting boxes has literally returned this bird to an overabundant status. This also demonstrates the fact that our loss of many types of wildlife today is due to a lack, or destruction, of habitat rather than to the gun and hunting.