Australian Wood Duck – Profile | Traits | Facts | Diet | Breeding

Australian wood duck

The Australian wood duck, the scientific name Chenonetta jubata is a medium-sized, light-colored duck with a darkish head, a characteristic high-tailed posture on water, and an erect posture on land. Fully protected in all states and territories and should not be shot.

Australian wood duck profile

The Australian wood duck, maned duck, or maned goose (Chenonetta jubata) is a dabbling duck discovered all through a lot of Australia. It is the one residing species within the genus Chenonetta.

Traditionally positioned within the subfamily Anatinae (dabbling geese), it’d belong to the subfamily Tadorninae (shelducks); the ringed teal could also be its closest residing relative.

This uncommon vagrant to New Zealand has a particular dumpy goose-like look. Molecular genetic research presents that the Australian wood duck is expounded to shelducks (Tadorna spp.), to not pygmy-geese (Nettapus spp.) as beforehand thought from its outward look.

Vagrants in a lot earlier instances, maybe throughout one of many Pleistocene glaciations, are thought to have given rise to the now-extinct New Zealand species, Finsch’s duck, Chenonetta finschi.

Australian wood duck, maned duck, maned goose, scientific name Chenonetta jubata

The Australian Wood Duck varieties monogamous breeding pairs that keep collectively year-round. It nests in tree holes, above or close to water, usually re-using the same site. Both parents feed younger and younger birds stay with them as much as a month after fledging.

Ducks feed on quite a lot of meals – grasses, aquatic vegetation, fish, bugs, small amphibians, worms, and small molluscs. Ducks live from 2 – 20 years.

In spring, three sorts of motion ways might be noticed: 61.5% of the geese (16 of 26) stayed around Lake Constance, 27% (7 of 26) migrated in a northerly path in direction of Sweden and 11.5% of the people (3 of 26) headed east for ca. 1,000 km after which north.

Australian wood duck is widespread in its range. This species has benefited from agricultural developments, with the creation of dams and pools. It is classed as a game bird, and killed by licensed hunters. This species just isn’t threatened, and numbers are stable.

Distribution and habitat

The Australian wood duck is widespread in Australia, together with Tasmania. The Australian wood duck is present in grasslands, open woodlands, wetlands, flooded pastures, and alongside the coast in inlets and bays.

It can be common on farmland with dams, in addition to around rice fields, sewage ponds, and in city parks. It will usually be discovered around deeper lakes that could be unsuitable for different waterbirds’ foraging because it prefers to forage on land.

It has been recorded as a vagrant in New Zealand, though in 2015 and 2016 a pair efficiently bred there.

Australian wood duck, maned duck, maned goose, scientific name Chenonetta jubata

Australian wood duck Description

This 45–51 cm duck appears like a small goose and principally feeds by grazing in flocks.

The male is gray with a darkish brown head and mottled breast. The feminine has white stripes above and below the attention and mottled underparts.

Both sexes have gray wings with black primaries and a white speculum. Juveniles are just like adult females, however lighter and with a more streaky breast.

The Australian wood duck is a sexually dimorphic species, with women and men differing primarily of their head and underbody color and patterns; the feminine can be barely smaller.

The adult male has a uniform dark-brown head and neck, with a short black mane down the back of the neck, therefore the species’ different name: maned duck.

The lower neck and higher breast are speckled brown and pale gray progressively fading to gray within the lower breast. The mantle and higher back are gray with a faint brown wash.

The tail, under tail coverts, and stomach is black. The flanks look gray from a distance however when seen close-up are finely vermiculated black on a gray background.

In distinction, the feminine has a lighter greyish-brown head, with two pale gray stripes, one from simply above the eyes back to the ear-coverts, the opposite below the eyes, extending from the bottom of the bill to the ear coverts.

The lower neck, breast, and flanks are spotted brown and white, the markings aligned in locations, producing a barred look. The higher back is grey-brown, changing into the darker brown additional back.

Australian wood duck, maned duck, maned goose, scientific name Chenonetta jubata

The higher tail coverts are pale brown tinged with gray; the undertail covers are off-white, the same color because of the stomach.

The tail is black-brown. Both sexes have the same daring wing pattern, with darkish primaries that distinction with white secondaries, which create a broad white panel on the trailing fringe of the internal upper wing.

Males have a slim speculum of iridescent green or indigo simply in front of the white panel (that is brown and solely barely iridescent in females).

Both sexes have darkish brown-black scapulars that kind a stripe on both sides of the higher body, separated in turn from the darkish central back by a slim strip of gray body feathers (a lot browner within the feminine).

Adult males have a non-breeding ‘eclipse’ plumage that’s just like the feminine plumage however with much less distinct face markings. The bill is short and goose-like, fairly deep on the base, gray in each sex. The legs are gray, tinged light brown, sometimes greenish; the eyes are darkish brown.


The Australian wood duck eats grasses, grains, clover, and different herbs, and infrequently, bugs. It is never seen on open water, preferring to forage by dabbling in shallow water, or in grasslands and crops.


The most common call is a loud, rising croaky gnow sound by the females, and the male call is the same besides smoother, shorter, and higher than the females. Staccato chattering can be present in flocks.

Australian wood duck, maned duck, maned goose, scientific name Chenonetta jubata

Australian wood duck Behavior

In Australia, a lot of the wood geese banded and subsequently recovered had not moved removed from the place they had been initially marked, however, the species is thought to be nomadic throughout exceptionally moist years when giant numbers move inland to breed alongside flooded creeks and billabongs.

The farthest restoration of a marked bird was one shot in north-central Queensland, 1720 km from the place it was initially banned in south-western New South Wales 17 months earlier.

Australian wood duck Reproduction

Australian wood duck nests in cavities in timber or in nest-boxes above or close to water. Nests are made with a pile of down.

This duck nests in a tree cavity laying 9–11 cream-white eggs, just like the Mandarin geese. The feminine incubates them whereas the male stands guard.

Once the ducklings are prepared to go away from the nest, the feminine flies to the ground, and the duckling will leap to the ground and comply with their parents. The males additionally safe their ducklings carefully together with the females.

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