DISTRIBUTION: Australia, New Guinea, Indonesia, Solomon Islands and New Zealand.
HABITAT: Shallow freshwater lakes and ponds with good cover. They also feed in estuaries and sheltered bays.
BREEDING: Breeding occurs from winter to summer. It nests in holes in trees. Two broods of 6-8 creamy-white eggs are incubated by the female for about 28 days. They fledge after 6-8 weeks and moult into adult plumage at 3-4 months of age.
FOOD: The seeds of aquatic plants, sometimes grain, a few insects, beetles and molluscs.
VOICE: Males: a clear whistling note. Females: a rapid ‘quack’ or ‘laughing chuckle’.
GENERAL: Populations are increasing in numbers. Several thousand have been reported on Lake Ellesmere. They are fully protected but some are mistakenly shot each year. Distinguished from the grey duck and mallard by their small size and distinctive white wing bar.