Tadorna tadornoides

Description

The Australian Mountain Shelduck is a large, brightly coloured duck with a small head and bill. The male head and neck are black, tinged green, with a white neck ring and occasionally a white ring around the base of the bill. The upper parts are mainly black, while the underparts are dark brown with a cinnamon breast. The wings are black and deep chestnut with a large green speculum (window in wing). The female has a white eye-ring and a chestnut breast.

Distribution

The Australian Mountain Shelduck can be found in south western and south eastern parts of Australia. It is only occasionally seen in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and in Central Australia.

Lifespan

The Australian Mountain Shelduck's lifespan is approximately 5 - 10 years.

Size

The size of the Australian Mountain Shelduck is between 56 - 72 centimetres in length and weighs approximately 500 grams.

Diet

The Australian Mountain Shelduck grazes on green grass on land or in shallow water. It also eats algae, insects and molluscs.

Habitat

The Australian Mountain Shelduck prefers fresh waters and if in saltwater habitat, needs to be within easy reach of fresh water.

Breeding

Breeding season is during July to December. The nest of the Australian Mountain Shelduck is usually in a large tree hollow, well lined with down. The female Australian Mountain Shelduck will produce 10 - 13 eggs and will solely incubate them for approximately 33 days. This species is monogamous and some birds are known to create permanent pair-bonds.