Florida Hunter Safety Course


Puddle Ducks

Wood Duck

Wood DuckThe wood duck is the most common duck in the eastern United States. Wood ducks nest in tree cavities. Once on the verge of extinction due to over harvest and loss of habitat, wood duck numbers increased when wildlife managers limited the hunting pressure on the species and erected nesting boxes as artificial habitat. Male wood ducks sport a bizarre face pattern, swept back crest and rainbow iridescence unique among waterfowl. The hen is dull colored with a dark, crested head and a white-eye patch. Many wood ducks are resident birds, but are still classified as migratory, as are all waterfowl.


Mottled Duck

Mottled Duck

The mottled duck is a non-migratory, close relative of the mallard. The Florida mottled duck, often called the Florida duck or Florida mallard, is a unique subspecies found only in peninsular Florida, residing in both brackish and freshwater marshes. The long-term well-being of Florida mottled ducks is threatened by crossbreeding with feral, domesticated mallards. Do not release mallards, and do not support existing feral mallards by feeding or sheltering them. If there are ponds and canals near you that have mallards on them during the summer, they are feral mallards. Help spread the word to friends and neighbors that releasing and supporting feral mallards is threatening our native Florida mottled duck. The release of mallards is prohibited in Florida under 68A-4.0052 of the Florida Administrative Code (FAC). Additionally, permits are needed for anyone to possess, buy or sell mallards in Florida.

Source: FWC Hunter Education Program