The Wood Duck is the official waterfowl of the state of Mississippi. The particular law declaring the wood duck as the state waterfowl is found in Chapter 3 of the Mississippi code which deals with official state holidays and emblems. In 1974, the Mississippi General Assembly passed Title 3, Chapter 3, Section 3-3-25 which reads as follows: “the wood duck (Aix sponsa) is hereby designated the state waterfowl of Mississippi”
One reason why Mississippi may have named the wood duck as its official waterfowl is because this bird is plentiful here. This is especially true along much of the Mississippi River. The state of Mississippi has plenty of wetlands and native hardwood forests for the duck to nest in. These wetlands also provide plenty of food for both adult and young ducks to eat.
Wood ducks also remain in Mississippi during much of the winter. This is due to the somewhat milder temperatures here when compared to more northern states. Migrating wood ducks often pass over the area when heading north in spring or further south in the fall.
Wood ducks also contribute to the economy of Mississippi. This is because they are often hunted during the migration season. As such, this activity brings in quite a few visitors from other states because it may be more difficult to hunt wood ducks in other areas. While it can be difficult to estimate how much revenue is generated in the state by wood duck hunters, researchers at Mississippi State University declare that these birds make a “significant contribution.”