A century ago, many people had given up on the wood duck, dooming it to extinction along with the passenger pigeon and Carolina parakeet. Today, the wood duck is one of the most familiar and most harvested ducks in the eastern half of the country, and one of America’s great conservation success stories.
In With Wings Extended, Minnesota conservationist Greg Hoch introduces readers to a duck they probably recognize but may not know well. Hoch illustrates the complexities of wildlife and habitat management that landowners as well as state and federal wildlife agencies deal with on a daily basis, and takes readers through the life stages of what is largely considered the most beautiful duck in the world. In this fascinating and practical read, Hoch blends the historical literature about the species with modern science, and also shows how our views of conservation have changed over the last century.
Greg Hoch works as a prairie habitat supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. He is author of Booming from the Mists of Nowhere: The Story of the Greater Prairie-Chicken (Iowa, 2015) and Sky Dance of the Woodcock: The Habits and Habitats of a Strange Little Bird (Iowa, 2019). He lives near Cambridge, Minnesota.
"Author Greg Hoch, like his avian subjects, turns over every leaf in search of that fat acorn of evidence, reasoned opinion, statistic, or intriguing circumstance to nourish his telling. The result is a pageant of accumulated thought, colour, and light as wondrous as the wood duck’s lair. Once you have read this book, you will wonder no more why the secretive, yet brilliantly adorned, wood duck holds such special esteem in the Americas and beyond."
– Jay Michael Strangis, publisher/editor, American Waterfowler Magazine
"This is an extraordinarily thorough and well-researched book by Hoch. The story of the wood duck is the story of North American wildlife – overexploitation, management, and recovery. This success story needs to be understood by all those with an interest in wildlife and hunting. I highly recommend it."
– Tom Landwehr, author, Hunting Adventures on the Minnesota Frontier: Sportsmen’s Tales from 1850–1900