These ducks are protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act, 1974.
Range / Distribution:
This is a bird which breeds in southern Australia and Tasmania. In the southern winter, many birds move further north than the breeding range. As with other shelducks, this species has favoured moulting grounds, such as Lake George, NSW, where sizable concentrations occur.
This species is mainly associated with lakes in fairly open country, breeding in tree holes, holes in banks or similar.
The male (depicted) is largely blackish, with a chestnut breast, white neck collar and dark green head. The female is similar, but has white around the eye. Both sexes, like most shelducks, show large white wing patches in flight.
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Duck Information ... Index of Duck Species ... Photos of the Different Duck Species for Identification
Diet / Feeding:
Ducks feed on larvae and pupae usually found under rocks, aquatic animals, plant material, seeds, small fish, snails, and crabs.
Instead of "teeth," ducks have serrations (saw-like edges) on their bills that allow them to filter food out of the water.
Feeding Ducks ...
We all enjoy these beautiful birds and many of us offer them food to encourage them to come over and stay around - and it works! Who doesn't like an easy meal!
However, the foods that we traditionally feed them at local ponds are utterly unsuitable for them and are likely to cause health problems down the road. Also, there may be local laws against feeding this species of bird - so it's best to check on that rather than facing consequences at a later stage.
- Foods that can be fed to Ducks, Geese and Swans to survive cold winters and remain healthy when food is scarce in their environment.
Please note that feeding ducks and geese makes them dependent on humans for food, which can result in starvation and possibly death when those feedings stop. If you decide to feed them, please limit the quantity to make sure that they maintain their natural ability to forage for food themselves - providing, of course, that natural food sources are available.
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