Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Freckled Duck
Stictnonetta naevosa
(Viewing 4 of 6 photos)

Freckled Ducks are not your everyday duck - firstly you don't see them very often and physically, they are probably more closely related to swans than ducks. They are probably the rarest waterfowl in Australia or possibly the world.

In eastern Australia, the large inland swamps associated with the Murray-Darling Basin are their mainstay, but a smaller number inhabit the inland swamps of south-western W.A. This is where they breed and in flood years, fast becoming a rare event because of over allocation of irrigation rights, their numbers multiply greatly. After breeding, they spread out, usually appearing in suitable swamps in small numbers up to a dozen or so, but occasionally quite large (up to 500 birds) flocks occur, even reaching the eastern seabord. The birds in pic 208213D were part of a flock that numbered more than 300 birds.

You are unlikely to ever see a breeding male sporting his attractive red cere in the wild because it is a temporary breeding state. All the photographs that have been taken are of birds in captivity - mine were taken at the duck ponds established at CSIRO at Gungahlin in the ACT by the late Dr Harry Frith.


Photo: 214002

214002 ... Freckled Duck, male in breeding plumage.

Photo: 214003

214003 ... Freckled Ducks, male and female.

Photo: 214005

214005

Photo: 214006

214006


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