Australian Wood Duck
Australian Wood Ducks are sweet little ducks found in most parts of Australia. Chances are you’ve seen these guys hanging around your local area as they like to be near fresh water and grassland.
The Australian Wood… Goose?
Is it a duck? Is it a goose? Their long slender necks and small beaks have earned these native ducks the nickname of ‘Maned Goose’. But we prefer the nickname ‘Maned Duck’ as the beautiful mottled feathers around their neck echo a majestic lion’s mane.
We are family!
But there’s much more to Australian Wood Ducks than just good looks. They are fiercely loyal birds who dedicate their lives to family above all else. Unlike the Blue-billed Duck, these ducks are monogamous, meaning they spend much of their life with one mate (awwahh!).
Once they’ve found their partner, Australian Wood Ducks get right to business – starting a family. Both the male and female like to be equally involved in parenting. Mum usually lays around eight to twelve eggs following heavy rainfall while Dad guards the nest for 28 days until they hatch.
Before they lay their eggs, Australian Wood Ducks will build the perfect nest. Unlike many native Australian ducks who nest close to water, Wood Ducks prefer a home with a view, building their nests out of wood chips atop hollowed out trees.
So, when you’re out discovering ducks remember to look up – you may spot an Australian Wood Duck!
Spreading their wings
Soon after they hatch, ducklings face the challenge of jumping from their tree top homes to find their parents. It’s a long way down for the ducklings, so Mum and Dad will usually provide encouragement from the sidelines. Check out this super-cute Australian Wood Duck family.
Life on land
The phrase ‘like a duck to water’ doesn’t really apply to the Australian Wood Duck as they actually prefer to waddling on land to swimming or diving. You’ll rarely find this duck in the open water as they like to stick dry ground, or shallow waters.
On the contrary, Australian Wood Ducks love the rain – the wetter the better. If you’re out discovering ducks, you’re most likely to find these guys on a rainy day, making it the perfect wet weather activity. Just remember to bring your umbrella!
It’s raining bugs and insects
Why do Australian Wood Ducks love the rain so much? Because that’s when all the tastiest bugs come out of course!
These ducks have a diverse pallet, enjoying bugs and feeding on different grasses, clovers, herbs and even the occasional insect. All these things make for a well-rounded diet. But remember, when you’re out discovering ducks human foods such a bread should be left at home.
Want to know more about the Australian Wood Duck? Download our fact sheet here. Or take the quiz to test how much you really know about ducks!