Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pacific Black Duck Anas superciliosa

All ducks look the same to me which is why I never noticed the Pacific Black Ducks before. That was until I discovered in a few past photos that some so-called Australian Wood Ducks had long white eye markings like this one below. Click to enlarge the photo.

Pacific Black Ducks taken about Aug. 2012

It seems, now that I think about it, these ducks are always seen in pairs even if they are in a small group. I have not seen them on land at all, except for years ago when they were hanging around the Agricultural paddocks that belong to the High School. They always seem to be in the creek/water unless they get spooked and fly further along the creek out of harms way.

Late last month I took some decent duck photos which turned out to be of Pacific Black Ducks, well a pair of them anyway. (Now I can't find these said photos on my computer.) They did not mind me getting close to them to take their photographs. They were swimming in the creek which was recently flooded, and were playing with the water current.

Currently they are in pairs, not in groups, so it must be getting close to their breeding season.

The Pacific Black Ducks are one of my favourite bird species, and even though they look similar to any duck out there, they can be easily identified by their metallic turquoise-green wing patches and their long white eye markings. And you mostly see them in pairs in the Tenterfield Creek, and elsewhere - probably even at the Tenterfield Dam.

These ducks seem to prefer water with a current flowing through it rather than still water.

What these ducks eat would be whatever exists in the water. Although they are supposed to be herbivores eating seeds of aquatic plants they do also eat small insects and other things found in or on the water. Very rarely do they search for food on land.

At a guess I'd say there are about 20 individuals of this species within the township of Tenterfield that exist/inhabit the Tenterfield Creek only. They are not as numerous as the Australian Wood Ducks, that's for sure.


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