Bayou-Diversity (16 February 2020) I cannot choose just one favorite bird that inhabits Louisiana swamps. You must allow me several. However, in the avian guild no species embodies the essence of a southern swamp more than the wood duck. Considered by many to be the most beautiful of North American waterfowl, wood ducks have been revered for centuries. Native Americans in the lower Mississippi Valley commonly depicted wood ducks on pottery and ceremonial pipes. The first Europeans here noticed the wood duck, and Cabeza de Vaca may have been the first to describe the species in his account of a bird he called the “royal drake” in 1527.