Anas superciliosa

Description

The Pacific Black Duck is mostly mid-brown in colour, with each feather edged buff. The head pattern is characteristic, with a dark brown line through the eye, bordered with cream above and below and a dark brown crown. The upper wing colour is the same as the back, with a bright glossy green patch in the secondary flight feathers. The white under wing is conspicuous in flight.

Distribution

The Pacific Black Duck are found throughout Australia, except inland deserts. Outside Australia, its range extends throughout the Pacific region.

Lifespan

Pacific Black Ducks don't have a very long lifespan and generally only live up to 2 years of age.

Size

The size of the Pacific Black Duck is 50 - 60 centimetres in length.

Diet

The Pacific Black Duck is mainly vegetarian, feeding on seeds of aquatic plants. This diet is supplemented with small crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic insects.

Habitat

The Pacific Black Duck is one of the most versatile of the Australian ducks. It frequents all types of water, from isolated forest pools to tidal mudflats.

Breeding

Mating in Pacific Black Ducks coincides with availability of sufficient food and water, and often with the onset of heavy rains or when waterways are at their peaks.

Courtship is accompanied by ritualised displays including preening, bobbing and wing-flapping. This behaviour is often initiated by the female with the male helping a little in the breeding process.

The female will produce approximately 16 eggs. The number of offspring produced may seem quite high, but only 20% will survive past two years of age.