Carl Kurtz is a professional writer, teacher, naturalist, and photographer. He and his wife and partner, Linda, live on a 172-acre family farm in central Iowa that is one of the few prairie seed sources in the Midwest.
Small ponds congested with willows, backwaters with downed trees, small streams and rivers are what wood ducks consider prime habitat. As cavity nesters, they utilize old trees or constructed bird houses and are known to nest in many urban environments if there is water nearby. They are also known as dump nesters with several females laying eggs in a common nest. As a result the occasional brood of young may have more than 20 ducklings. Once the young leave the nest the mother leads them to a stream or river where they can find food and cover.