Aythya novaeseelandiae

Description

New Zealand Scaup Ducks are quite distinctive ducks, the males being black with a purplish, greenish sheen on the head and the rest of the body a brownish black with a green gloss.

The eye is distinctly yellow. The female can be easily distinguished with her brown eye.

In breeding plumage, the scaup has a small white band on the forehead above the beak.

Distribution

The New Zealand Scaup Duck are found throughout both North and South islands of New Zealand.

Lifespan

The New Zealand Scaup Duck has an average lifespan of approximately 5 - 10 years.

Size

The size of the New Zealand Scaup Duck is 40 centimetres in length.

Diet

This diving duck can stay down for 20 - 30 seconds and go down three metres to look for aquatic plants, small fish, water snails, mussels and insects.

Habitat

The New Zealand Scaup Duck inhabits freshwater lakes and ponds.

Breeding

Breeding season is during October to March. The nest is usually lined with grass and down. The nest is also close to water, often under banks or thick cover.

The female will produce 5 - 8 cream/white eggs and will incubate the eggs for 30 - 32 days. The newly hatched ducklings take to diving for food on their first outing.