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< >  Anas superciliosa - Pacific black duck (Click photographs/illustrations: full picture & further details)
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INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL & REFERENCES

EXTERNAL APPEARANCES

REPRODUCTION

BEHAVIOUR

NATURAL DIET

RANGE & HABITAT

CONSERVATION

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General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

Black duck
Australian grey duck
Australian black duck
Grey duck
Wild duck
Anas superciliosa pelewensis
Anas superciliosa rogersi
Anas superciliosa superciliosa
Anas poecilorhyncha
superciliosa New Zealand grey duck
Anas poecilorhyncha pelewensis Lesser grey duck
Anas poecilorhyncha rogersi Australian grey duck
Augenbrauenente (German)
Canard sourcils (French)
Anade cejudo (Spanish)

Names for newly-hatched

Duckling, downy.

Names for non-breeding males or other colour-phases

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References

Species Author

Debra Bourne

Major References

B1, B3, B5, B8, B19, B25, B26, B44.9.w1

Aviculture references:
B7, B29, B30, B31, B40, B94, B97, B128.w1, B128.w2, B139
D1, D8

Other References

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TAXA Group (where information has been collated for an entire group on a modular basis)

Parent Group

Specific Needs Group referenced in Management Techniques

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Aviculture Information

Notes

General Information:
  • Dabbling Ducks are generally hardy, easy to maintain and easy to breed. Shelter may be required by some of the smaller species in winter. They should be provided with cover (including marginal pond cover) and loafing areas as well as water. A pen which is 50% water is suggested. The water may be shallow (i.e. no more than two feet deep is required), and muddy areas for dabbling in are also appreciated. These ducks are generally good in mixed collections, although the smaller and quieter species may be bullied. Territorial disputes between ducks of the same species may be avoided by keeping only one pair of each species in an enclosure, unless the area is very large. For a single pair of ducks a pen are of 50 to 100 square metres, depending on the size of duck, should be provided.
  • A diet based on wheat and pellets is suggested, with maintenance pellets changed to breeders pellets for the breeding season. Bread and greenfood are also appreciated. Grit should always be available, with soluble grit (e.g. oystershell grit) as a calcium source when breeding.
  • Most species are ground nesters and both close ground cover and ground level nest boxes should be provided. Hand-rearing is generally preferred, as these ducks are generally poor parents in captive conditions, particularly in enclosures shared with other waterfowl. These ducks are prone to hybridization, particularly with closely related species, which should be kept apart from one another.

(B7, B29, B30, B40, B94, B128.w1, D1)

Species-specific information:

  • Pacific black ducks are hardy, peaceable and suitable for mixed collections. Ground cover and loafing areas should be provided as well as a water area. May be fed grain, pellets and green food.
  • These ducks are easily bred. Close ground cover, ground-level and raised nest boxes and baskets should be provided for breeding, with eggs laid from the beginning of March (B31), usually April to June (B29) (northern hemisphere). May be parent reared; artificial incubation and rearing or use of broodies is not difficult. Excess feeding and lack of exercise risks the ducklings developing Angel Wing and Perosis.
  • Hybridisation with other Anas species in the mallard group is common - frequent hybridisation in wild with introduced Anas platyrhynchos - Mallard; maintenance in enclosures away from other similar species suggested.
  • Albino, pied and silver (leucistic) forms are known in captivity.

(B29, B30, B31, B94, B97, B128.w2, B139).

Aviornis UK Ringing Scheme recommended average closed ring size:

  • Anas poecilorhyncha superciliosa New Zealand grey duck L 11.0mm
  • Anas poecilorhyncha pelewensis Lesser grey duck K 10.0mm
  • Anas poecilorhyncha rogersi Australian grey duck L 11.0mm

(D8).

Management Techniques

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External Appearance (Morphology)

Measurement & Weight

Length 47-61cm (B1); 54-61cm, 21-24 inches (B25).
Adult weight General 700-1340g (B1)
Male Anas superciliosa superciliosa 765-1275g (B3); 1.7-2.8 lbs. (B8).

Anas superciliosa rogersi 870-1400g (B3); 1.9-3.1 lbs. (B8).

Anas superciliosa pelewensis smaller.

Female Anas superciliosa superciliosa 623-1275g (B3); 1.4-2.8 lbs. (B8).

Anas superciliosa rogersi 806-1280g (B3); 1.8-2.8 lbs. (B8)

Anas superciliosa pelewensis smaller.

Newly-hatched weight --
Growth rate --

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Head

Adult Bill Male Dark lead-grey with black nail.
Variations (If present) --
Eyes (Iris) Male Brown.
Variations(If present) --
Juvenile Bill Dark lead-grey with black nail.
Eyes (Iris) Brown.

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Legs

Adult Male Yellow-brown, with dusky webs.
Variations (If present) --
Juvenile Yellow-brown, with dusky webs.

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Plumage

Adult Male Boldly striped face: bright pale sides of head with black crown and hindneck, blackish eye-stripe and lower stripe from base of bill, whitish throat. Rest of head and neck buff with darker streaking. Upperparts and underparts dark brown with buff feather edges.

Wing dark brown, with white/pale buff tips greater coverts, green secondaries with black base and black subterminal band and white/buff tips (Speculum green with black and white borders).

Variations (If present) Female: slightly duller, slightly less clearly marked.
Juvenile Slightly more streaking lower foreneck and belly.

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Newly-hatched Characteristics

General: Upperparts blackish, underparts and markings yellow. Broad dark eye-stripe.
Bill: Grey.
Feet: Grey.

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Reproduction

Reproductive Season

Time of year Geographical variation: July-October southern Australia, March-May northern Australia, September-January New Zealand.
No. of Clutches --

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Nest placement and structure

On the ground, in tree holes or in the old nests of other birds. Lined with down.

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Egg clutches

No. of Eggs Average 8-10 (B1).
Range 3-15 (B1); 8-13 (B8). More by dump-nesting.
Egg Description Cream to greenish-white or greenish-cream (B5, B8) . Size: 51 x 42mm (B5).

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Incubation

26-32 days (B1, B8).

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Hatching

Synchronous.

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Fledging

52-66 days (B1, B8).

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Sexual Maturity

Males One year old.
Females One year old.

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Behaviour

Feeding Behaviour

Adults Dabbles and up-ends (occasionally dives) in shallows, also grazes on stubble and crop fields.
Newly-hatched --

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Parental Behaviour

Nest-building By female only.
Incubation By female only. Male may guard early in incubation.
Newly-hatched Tended by female only.
Juveniles

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Social Behaviour

Intra-specific Gregarious
Inter-specific Readily mix with other species of waterfowl

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Sexual Behaviour

Monogamous and probably permanent: pair remains together all year.

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Predation in Wild

 

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Activity Patterns

Perch on fallen timber. May be found in large flocks.
Circadian Mainly nocturnal feeders.

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Natural Diet

Adults

Basically vegetarian, seeds of aquatic and fringe vegetation, also of other plants. Some animal material: bivalve molluscs, aquatic insects and their larvae, freshwater crayfish.

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Newly-hatched

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Range and Habitat

Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

Normal Anas superciliosa pelewensis Southwest Pacific Islands (Society, Cook, Tonga, Samoa, New Caledonia, Loyalty, New Hebrides, Solomon, Bismarck, Palua, Caroline Islands), northern New Guinea.

Anas superciliosa rogersi Indonesia ( East Indies, Celebes, Moluccas, Louisiade Archipelago), southern New Guinea, Australia, Tasmania.

Anas superciliosa superciliosa New Zealand and larger offshore islands.

Mostly sedentary, but dispersion from dry inland areas of Australia (where temporary wetlands are used following rains), sometimes long distances, including Australian birds reaching New Guinea.

Occasional and Accidental

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Introduced

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Habitat

Various wetlands, fresh, brackish and saline, but preferring permanent waters with abundant vegetation, swampy areas.

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Conservation

Intraspecific variation

  • Anas poecilorhyncha superciliosa New Zealand grey duck
  • Anas poecilorhyncha pelewensis Lesser grey duck
  • Anas poecilorhyncha rogersi Australian grey duck

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Conservation Status

Wild Population -
(Importance)

Endangered: Anas superciliosa superciliosa - New Zealand grey duck (B44.9.w1)

CITES listing --
Red-data book listing  
Threats Competition with, and hybridisation with, introduced Anas platyrhynchos - Mallard (B44.9.w1).

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Captive Populations

Ducks in collections are susceptible to hybridisation with Anas platyrhynchos - mallard.

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Trade

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