Pacific Black Duck

The Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa) is the most numerous duck in Australia found wherever there is an expanse of freshwater. It is known as a "dabbling" duck as it feeds mostly by upending in water (hence: Ducks are a-dabbling, Up tails all! from "The Wind in the Willows" by Kenneth Grahame).

It is easily recognised by its dark wood-brown plumage with pale feather margins, and its head markings: Black cap, buff/white face with 2 bold black stripes, one of which runs from the bill through the eye to the back of the head, and the other below the eye. This duck is easily recognised in flight by its very obvious gleaming white underwing.

They feed on aquatic and waterside vegetation, seeds, small crustaceans and molluscs. Breeding takes place from June-December, nesting amongst ground vegetation or in a hollow stump, usually 6-11 eggs. There have been many sightings of ducklings in recent years at the Wetland, but very few reach maturity due to predation by cats, foxes, hawks, owls and other waterbirds. Breeding duties are shared until the clutch hatches, then the male returns to his flock of males leaving the female to raise the family! (Courtesy of Jo G.)

Pacific Black Duck Mallard Hybrid