The hardhead (Aythya australis) is also known as the white-eyed duck. It is a compact, rich mahogany diving duck with a largish, high-crowned head. The male has vivid white eyes and a black bill with a blue-white band across the tip and a very white stern. The females are paler brown with dark eyes.

Hardheads frequent deeper permanent waters such as swamps and lake with emergent vegetation, feeding on water plants, grasses and seeds, insects, crustaceans and occasionally fish.

They breed from August to December. However, rainfall determines the breeding season in south east Australia. Their nest is a neat, well woven cup of stems with a canopy, in reeds, combungi, lignum and waterside bush. They lay 9 to 12 eggs.

In its swift flight, it is easily identified by its audible whirr and flashing broad translucent white wing band above the wholly white underwings and white belly. Its voice is seldom heard. (Contributed by Jo G.)