I was amazed at the danger this Australian Wood Duck had placed itself into. It was quietly grazing on the grass in the African Wild Dog enclosure at the Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, and with its back to the pack sunning themselves about 30 metres away. They are cunning hunters and quite capable of sneaking up on an unsuspecting, tasty meal like a duck. I guess that they are well fed and have no need to chase after wildfowl, or any other birds which stray into their enclosure.
This reminded me of a guided tour we had a some years ago through our local Monarto Zoo, just 10km from my home here in Murray Bridge. The tour bus was slowly moving through the cheetah enclosure when the guide announced that the cheetahs loved running at full speed and catching the local ravens or magpies before they could get airborne again.
I decided then that I would never try to outrun a cheetah!
The Lane Cove National Park in Sydney has the Lane Cove River flowing through it. Many areas near the banks of the river have been cleared of vegetation to accommodate ovals, picnic grounds and parking space for the many visitors who frequent the park daily. The water and the picnic areas naturally attract a range of ducks.
On our visit a few months ago I only recorded two species: Australian Wood Ducks and Pacific Black Ducks. The photo above shows the male on the left and the female on the right. The photo shows – in part – the big differences in the plumage between the male and female. The photo below shows some of the fine markings on the male bird.
Today’s last photo is of a Pacific Black Duck, one of our most common ducks.