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Elephantopus elatus - TALL ELEPHANTSFOOT

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Wood Duck & Ducklings

This wood duck and her ducklings was photographed while kayaking the Ocklawaha River.

WOOD DUCK - Aix sponsa

Wood ducks are found in forested wetlands, along rivers, ponds, lakes, swamps and marshes throughout Florida, although rare in the keys. Wood ducks breed from southern Canada into much of the eastern United States to Cuba and in the west coast states. They winter in the southern portion of the breeding range and into the southwest states and Mexico.
This is one of the few ducks that nest in tree cavities, usually over or near the water. Declines in the number of natural cavities have prompted the placement of nest boxes which the ducks readily utilize. After hatching the chicks drop from the nest and make their way to the water.
The males are very colorful when in breeding plumage, their head has a long green crest with shades of purple and white markings. The breast is chestnut colored, the belly is white and they are reddish-violet under the tail. The back and tail are black with a metallic sheen. Non-breeding males are gray, without the crest but retaining white head markings. Females are similar to non-breeding males but with white around the eye tapering to the rear instead of the male's head stripes.

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