The Bronze-winged Duck (Speculanas specularis), also known as the Spectacled Duck, is a dabbling duck and the sole member of its genus Speculanas.
It is often placed in Anas with most other dabbling ducks, but its closest relative is either the Crested Duck or the Brazilian Duck, which likewise form monotypic genera (a genus consisting of only one species). Together they belong to a South American lineage which diverged early from the other dabbling ducks (Johnson and Sorenson, 1999) and may include the steamer ducks.
Distribution / Range
The Bronze-winged Duck lives among forested rivers and fast-flowing streams on the lower slopes of the South American Andes, in central and southern Chile and adjacent parts of Argentina.
Named after the "bronze" speculum (= distinctive wing patch) , this species is also known as "pato perro" or "dog-duck" after the harsh barking call of the female.
Sexes are alike.
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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.
Captive birds are often fed commercially prepared duck food pellets - if there are insufficient natural resources available to sustain them. As they feed on insects, they are very useful in ridding gardens or lawns of harmful bugs.
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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