Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Musk Duck
Biziura lobata
(Viewing 4 of 10 photos)

Musk Ducks occur mainly in southern Australia and Tasmania and breed in deep, permanent swamps but in times of flood they have been known to gather on Lake Eyre.

The name Musk Duck is derived from the distinctive musky smell given off by males in the breeding season. It comes from the oily secretion exuded by the preen gland on the bird's rump which is used in preening the feathers.

Musk Ducks occur in fairly deep fresh water where they dive for their food. They can spend up to a minute or so underwater where they feed mainly on aquatic animal life rather than vegetative matter. When breeding, males indulge in a noisy display, half submerging, erecting the tail in a spiky fan and kicking long sprays of water behind.(see pics 217210D and 211D)

Photo: 217001


Photo: 217202


Photo: 217203


Photo: 217204


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