Wood Duck females call to attract males, they pair for one season and may mate with a different duck the next season. Females are responsible for all parental care and nest building. They build their nests in cavities in trees and lay between six and fifteen eggs. However, some female Wood ducks will ‘dump’ their eggs in an already occupied nest for another female Wood duck to raise so some nests can have over twenty eggs in them. After hatching, ducklings leave the nest within 24 hours and drop into water or to the ground. They are dependent on the female for food.
Wood Ducks are omnivores, and they will feed on a wide variety of aquatic plants and aquatic invertebrates. Seeds, grasses, duckweed, berries, and other plants growing in and around the water make up the majority of their diet. They will also eat flies, caterpillars, snails, and beetles. Wood ducks are considered dabbling ducks and dip their heads in the water to forage.