Anas rhynchotisLatham, 1801
The Australasian shoveler (Spatula rhynchotis) is a species of dabbling duck in the genus Spatula. It ranges from 46–53 cm. It lives in heavily vegetated swamps. In Australia it is protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act, 1974. They occur in southwestern and southeastern Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. The male has a blue-grey head with a vertical white crescent in front of the eyes. The status of the Australasian shoveler is least concern.
The common name for the species Spatula rhynchotis is Australasian shoveler no matter which country it is found in. It was previously categorised as two subspecies:
Other names used include: spoonbill, shoveler, spoony, spoonie and shoveller.The Māori name of kuruwhengi is still valid.
The Australasian shoveler was described by the English ornithologist John Latham in 1801.
Courtship in New Zealand starts around August which involves vocalisations from the drake (male) accompanied with head-bobbing whilst swimming toward the duck (female). The most heard vocalisations are from the drakes in the form of a "Sock, sock-sock, sock, sock-sock". Often several drakes will pursue an already paired duck: Generally the mated males are aggressive and will not tolerate this behavior from the bachelors, and fighting may ensue. Courtship flights are common in the morning and evenings mostly, where the duck is followed in a short rapid flight by one or more (usually two) drakes. This tests the speed and agility of the drakes. The duck may be biased in picking the 'winner' in these tests however, especially if she has paired with one of the competitors. She will even sometimes excrete mid-flight on a pursuing male if he is especially not to her fancy. There is a clear and unexplained sex ratio difference with a lot more males to females. This difference is not present in broods of ducklings however. Males with a lot of white breast feathers are not usually paired. These white feathers are often a sign of an older shoveler as first year males almost never have them. Mating will occur as early as August, though nesting rarely happens until at least October.
Duck is the common name for numerous species in the waterfowl family Anatidae which also includes swans and geese. Ducks are divided among several subfamilies in the family Anatidae; they do not represent a monophyletic group but a form taxon, since swans and geese are not considered ducks. Ducks are mostly aquatic birds, mostly smaller than the swans and geese, and may be found in both fresh water and sea water.
The black swan is a large waterbird, a species of swan which breeds mainly in the southeast and southwest regions of Australia. Within Australia they are nomadic, with erratic migration patterns dependent upon climatic conditions. Black swans are large birds with mostly black plumage and red bills. They are monogamous breeders, and are unusual in that one-quarter of all families are parented by homosexual pairings, mostly by males. Both partners share incubation and cygnet rearing duties.
The freckled duck is a waterfowl species endemic to Australia. The freckled duck has also been referred to as the monkey duck or oatmeal duck. These birds are usually present in mainland Australia, but disperse to coastal and subcostal wetlands in the dry period. During such times it is common for the freckled duck population to congregate in flocks in the same area, giving the impression that they are more common than they really are.
The northern shoveler, known simply in Britain as the shoveler, is a common and widespread duck. It breeds in northern areas of Europe and Asia and across most of North America, wintering in southern Europe, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and Central, and northern South America. It is a rare vagrant to Australia. In North America, it breeds along the southern edge of Hudson Bay and west of this body of water, and as far south as the Great Lakes west to Colorado, Nevada, and Oregon.
The Egyptian goose is a member of the duck, goose, and swan family Anatidae. It is native to Africa south of the Sahara and the Nile Valley.
The mallard is a dabbling duck that breeds throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas, Eurasia, and North Africa and has been introduced to New Zealand, Australia, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, the Falkland Islands, and South Africa. This duck belongs to the subfamily Anatinae of the waterfowl family Anatidae. The male birds (drakes) have a glossy green head and are grey on their wings and belly, while the females have mainly brown-speckled plumage. Both sexes have an area of white-bordered black or iridescent blue feathers called a speculum on their wings; males especially tend to have blue speculum feathers. The mallard is 50–65 cm (20–26 in) long, of which the body makes up around two-thirds the length. The wingspan is 81–98 cm (32–39 in) and the bill is 4.4 to 6.1 cm long. It is often slightly heavier than most other dabbling ducks, weighing 0.72–1.58 kg (1.6–3.5 lb). Mallards live in wetlands, eat water plants and small animals, and are social animals preferring to congregate in groups or flocks of varying sizes. This species is the main ancestor of most breeds of domesticated ducks.
The garganey is a small dabbling duck. It breeds in much of Europe and western Asia, but is strictly migratory, with the entire population moving to southern Africa, India, Bangladesh and Australasia in winter, where large flocks can occur. This species was first described by Linnaeus in 1758. Like other small ducks such as the common teal, this species rises easily from the water with a fast twisting wader-like flight.
The Cape Barren goose is a large goose resident in southern Australia. The species is named for Cape Barren Island, where specimens were first sighted by European explorers.
The Australian wood duck, maned duck or maned goose is a dabbling duck found throughout much of Australia. It is the only living species in the genus Chenonetta. Traditionally placed in the subfamily Anatinae, it might belong to the subfamily Tadorninae (shelducks); the ringed teal may be its closest living relative.
The Pacific black duck, commonly known as the PBD, is a dabbling duck found in much of Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, and many islands in the southwestern Pacific, reaching to the Caroline Islands in the north and French Polynesia in the east. It is usually called the grey duck in New Zealand, where it is also known by its Maori name, pārera.
The Australasian gannet, also known as Australian gannet and tākapu, is a large seabird of the booby and gannet family, Sulidae. Adults are mostly white, with black flight feathers at the wingtips and lining the trailing edge of the wing. The central tail feathers are also black. The head is tinged buff-yellow, with a pale blue-grey bill edged in black, and blue-rimmed eyes. Young birds have mottled plumage in their first year, dark above and light below. The head is an intermediate mottled grey, with a dark bill. The birds gradually acquire more white in subsequent seasons until they reach maturity after five years.
The paradise shelduck is a large goose-like duck endemic to New Zealand. It is a shelduck, a group of large goose-like birds which are part of the bird family Anatidae. The genus name Tadorna comes from Celtic roots and means "pied waterfowl". Known to the Māori as pūtangitangi, but now commonly referred to as the "paradise duck", it is a prized game bird. Both the male and female have striking plumage: the male has a black head and barred black body, the female a white head with a chestnut body.
The radjah shelduck, is a species of shelduck found mostly in New Guinea and Australia, and also on some of the Moluccas. It is known alternatively as the raja shelduck, black-backed shelduck, or in Australia as the Burdekin duck.
The pink-eared duck is a species of duck found in Australia. It has a large spatulate bill like the Australasian shoveler, but is smaller at 38–40 cm length. Its brown back and crown, black and white barred sides and black eye patches on its otherwise white face make this bird unmistakable. Juveniles are slightly duller, but otherwise all plumages are similar. Its vernacular name refers to a pink spot in the corner formed by the black head pattern; it is only noticeable at close distance however, making the seldom-used Australian name of zebra duck more appropriate.
The red shoveler is a species of dabbling duck native to southern South America.
The square-tailed kite is a medium-sized bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as kites, eagles and harriers.
The superb lyrebird is an Australian songbird, one of two species from the family Menuridae. It is one of the world's largest songbirds, and is renowned for its elaborate tail and courtship displays, and its excellent mimicry. The species is endemic to Australia and is found in forests in the south-east of the country. According to David Attenborough, the superb lyrebird displays the most sophisticated voice skills within the animal kingdom.
Duck hunting is an outdoor recreational activity practised under a permit system in the Australian state of South Australia. Licensed shooters hunt using shotguns and dogs, and are provided with permits issued by the Department of Environment and Water on payment of a fee and completion of a Waterfowl Identification Test. Permits are available to persons 14 years of age and older for an annual fee of $43.25 or $22.40 for children or concession holders. The activity is opposed by animal welfare groups who consider the practise to be unacceptably cruel.