Australian Wood Duck


Australian Wood Duck
Australian Wood Duck
Adult male
Adult female
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Anatinae or Tadorninae
Genus: Chenonetta
Brandt, 1836
Species: C. jubata
Binomial name
Chenonetta jubata
(Latham, 1802)

The Australian Wood Duck, Maned Duck or Maned Goose, Chenonetta jubata, 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 (dabbling ducks), it might actually belong to the subfamily Tadorninae (shelducks);[2] the Ringed Teal may be its closest living relative.[3]

Contents

Taxonomy

The flightless New Zealand species Chenonetta finschi (Finsch's Duck) which was formerly believed to constitute a monotypic genus (Euryanas) has been determined to belong to Chenonetta.[4] It became extinct before scientists could properly survey the New Zealand avifauna, but possibly as late as 1870 (based on a report of a flightless goose caught in Opotiki[5]).

Description

This 45–51 cm duck looks like a small goose, and feeds mostly by grazing in flocks.

The male is grey with a dark brown head and mottled breast. The female has white stripes above and below the eye and mottled underparts. Both sexes have grey wings with black primaries and a white speculum.

Distribution and habitat

The species has benefited greatly from farming and the creation of dams. Its habitat includes lightly wooded swamps, marshes, open woodland and grassland.[6]

Behaviour

Family in Australia

Call

The most common call is a loud, rising gnow sound.[6] The male call is shorter and higher than the females. Staccato chattering is also present in flocks.[6]

Breeding

This duck nests in a tree cavity laying 9–11 cream-white eggs, similar to the Mandarin ducks.[6] The female incubates them while the male stands guard. Once the ducklings are ready to leave the nest, the female flies to the ground and the duckling will leap to the ground and follow their parents. Like Mandarin drakes, the males also secure their ducklings closely along with the females.

Feeding

The Australian Wood Duck dabbles in shallow water and feeds on grasslands.[6]

Various views and plumages

References

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2004). Chenonetta jubata. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  2. ^ Sraml, M.; Christidis, L.; Easteal, S.; Horn, P. & Collet, C. (1996): Molecular Relationships Within Australasian Waterfowl (Anseriformes). Australian Journal of Zoology 44(1): 47-58. doi:10.1071/ZO9960047 (HTML abstract)
  3. ^ Johnson, Kevin P. & Sorenson, Michael D. (1999): Phylogeny and biogeography of dabbling ducks (genus Anas): a comparison of molecular and morphological evidence. Auk 116(3): 792–805. PDF fulltext
  4. ^ Worthy, Trevor H. & Olson, Storrs L. (2002): Relationships, adaptations, and habits of the extinct duck 'Euryanas' finschi. Notornis 49(1): 1–17. PDF fulltext
  5. ^ Tennyson, A. & Martinson, P. (2006) Extinct Birds of New Zealand Te Papa Press,Wellington ISBN 978-0-909010-21-8
  6. ^ a b c d e Pizzey, Graham; Knight, Frank (1997). Field Guide to the Birds of Australia. Sydney, Australia: HarperCollinsPublishers. p. 111. ISBN 0 207 18013 X. 

External links

Media related to Chenonetta jubata at Wikimedia Commons


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