Thursday, Oct 2, 2014

Pacific Black Ducks

Male Pacific Black Duck


The Pacific Black Ducks (Anas superciliosa) is known as Grey Duck or Parera in New Zealand.


Distribution / Habitats

The Pacific Black Ducks occur naturally in much of Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, and many islands in the southwestern Pacific. Its range extends to the Caroline Islands in the north and French Polynesia in the east. During the migration, they are vagrants to the Marianas islands.

These ducks inhabit a variety of wetland habitats.


Recognized Subspecies and Ranges:

  • Anas superciliosa superciliosa - Nominate Race
  • Anas superciliosa rogersi
  • Anas superciliosa pelewensis
    • Range: Southwest Pacific islands

Description

The Pacific Black Duck measures between 54 - 61 cm in length, with the males being larger than females.

The plumage is mostly dark with a paler head, dark crown, white facial stripes, bright green speculum (wing patches) and pale underwing patches (mostly seen in flight)

Some island forms tend to be darker and smaller than the mainland populations.


Relevant Resources

Male Pacific Black Duck

Pacific Black Ducks with chicks

Pacific Black Duck with chicks

Flying Pacific Black Ducks

Pacific Black Duck

Pacific Black Duck

Pacific Black Duck

Australian Black Duck




Diet / Feeding:

Ducks feed on larvae and pupae usually found under rocks, aquatic animals, plant material, seeds, small fish, snails, and crabs.

Instead of "teeth," ducks have serrations (saw-like edges) on their bills that allow them to filter food out of the water.

Captive birds are often fed commercially prepared duck food pellets - if there are insufficient natural resources available to sustain them. As they feed on insects, they are very useful in ridding gardens or lawns of harmful bugs.

Feeding Ducks ...

We all enjoy ducks and many of us offer them food to encourage them to come over and stay around - and it works! Who doesn't like an easy meal!

However, the foods that we traditionally feed them at local ponds are utterly unsuitable for them and are likely to cause health problems down the road. Also, there may be local laws against feeding this species of bird - so it's best to check on that rather than facing consequences at a later stage.

Please note that feeding ducks and geese makes them dependent on humans for food, which can result in starvation and possibly death when those feedings stop. If you decide to feed them, please limit the quantity to make sure that they maintain their natural ability to forage for food themselves - providing, of course, that natural food sources are available.


Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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