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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Australian Wood Duck

Beauty Of Animal | Australian Wood Duck | The Australian Wood Duck, Maned Duck or Maned Goose, Chenonetta jubata, is a dabbling duck found throughout much of Australia. It is the only living species in the genus Chenonetta. Traditionally placed in the Anatinae (dabbling duck) subfamily, it might actually belong to the Tadorninae (shelduck) subfamily; possibly, the Ringed Teal is its closest living relative.The flightless New Zealand species Chenonetta finschi (Finsch's Duck) which was formerly believed to constitute a monotypic genus (Euryanas) has been determined to belong to Chenonetta.It became extinct before scientists could properly survey the New Zealand avifauna, but possibly as late as 1870 (based on a report of a flightless goose caught in Opotiki,).This 45–51 cm duck looks like a small goose, and feeds mostly by grazing in flocks. Unusually for a duck, it rarely swims.

The male is grey with a dark brown head and mottled breast. The female has white stripes above and below the eye and mottled underparts. Both sexes have grey wings with black primaries and a white speculum.The species has benefited greatly from farming and the creation of dams. Its habitat includes lightly wooded swamps, marshes, open woodland and grassland.

The most common call is a loud, rising gnow sound. The male call is shorter and higher than the females. Staccato chattering is also present in flocks.This duck nests in a tree cavity laying 9-11 cream-white eggs, similar to the Mandarin ducks. The female incubates them while the male stands guard. Once the ducklings are ready to leave the nest, the female flies to the ground and the duckling will leap to the ground and follow their parents. Like Mandarin drakes, the males also secure their ducklings closely along with the females.


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