Chenonetta jubata

Description

The Australian Wood Duck is a medium-sized 'goose-like' duck with a dark brown head and a pale grey body with two black stripes along the back. Males have the darker head and a small dark mane, with a speckled brown-grey breast and a black lower belly and undertail. The females have a paler head with two white stripes, above and below the eye, a speckled breast and flanks, with a white lower belly and undertail. In flight, the wings are pale grey above, contrasting with black wingtips, and have a visible white bar on the underside.

Size

The Australian Wood Duck is around 44-50 cm long.

Breeding

They form monogamous breeding pairs that stay together year round. It nests in tree holes, above or near water, often re-using the same site. Both parents feed young and young birds remain with them up to a month.

Food

Feeds on grasses, clover and other herbs, and occasionally insects.

Distribution

The Australian Wood Duck is widespread in Australia, including Tasmania. Found in grasslands, open woodlands, wetlands, flooded pastures and along the coast in inlets and bays. It is also common on farmland with dams, as well as around rice fields, sewage ponds and in urban parks.