2016 February 21. Wood Ducks. I first saw wood ducks in 1971 when we visited Reiffel Wildfowl Refuge in BC. They were the most beautiful ducks I had ever seen and I still consider them Canada’s most beautiful duck. Now we live in the country in Ancaster, with a pond and woods containing about half beech trees and the rest oak, shagbark hickory, maple, cherry, hop hornbeam (ironwood), and more. One spring morning years ago, I got up and looked out our bedroom window at the pond and the woods. I was astounded to see two ducks walking around about fifteen feet up on the branches of the trees. They were checking around for holes in which to nest. Now I have them coming to visit my pond every year, thanks to my friend Alfie who brought me a duck house. The first year, nothing happened. The next year, a pair of Hooded Mergansers nested and raised a brood of ducklings. The following year it was Wood Ducks and most years since. We usually see the ducks starting in March each year, with sometimes three or four pairs of Wood Ducks and a pair of Hooded Mergansers jockeying for position around the duck house. Usually the Wood Ducks succeed in getting their eggs laid, though not necessarily from a single pair. We have had as many as thirty eggs in the box. My friend Alfie came and took quite a few of them out and brought them to a friend who had a licence and hatched the eggs in an incubator and released them after they had hatched.
To this day, Wood Ducks are my early sign of spring and renewal and of the beauty that God gives us in creation. They inspire me to take as good care of the earth as I can. The picture you see is not one I took, but it shows the kind of duck house I have and two wood ducks in or on it. Enjoy the beauty of God’s creation.