Anas superciliosa


Pacific Black Duck


55 cm. Large brown and buff duck. Whole body streaked and spotted dark brown and buff; head pale with distinctive dark stripes; green speculum; sexes alike; interbreeds with Mallard A. platyrhynchos which produces paler birds with lkess distinct facial stripes and blue speculum.


The Pacific Black Duck is mainly vegetarian, feeding on seeds of aquatic plants. This diet is supplemented with small crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic insects. Food is obtained by 'dabbling', where the bird plunges its head and neck underwater and upends, raising its rear end vertically out of the water. Occasionally, food is sought on land in damp grassy areas.  


Mating in Pacific Black Ducks coincides with availability of sufficient food and water, and often with the onset of heavy rains or when waterways are at their peaks. Courtship is accompanied by ritualised displays including preening, bobbing and wing-flapping. This behaviour is often initiated by the female, and, other than copulation, the male helps little in the breeding process. Often, two broods will be raised in a year. The number of offspring produced may seem quite high, but only 20% of these will survive past two years of age.


Male high-pitched 'quek'; female 'quack, quack'.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Collins.


More information can be found on Wikipedia


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