Wood duck family affair

The turn in the weather has brought out families visiting the Reserve. Sometimes, they’re lucky to see a duck family, as in today.

Shows Australian Wood Duck family, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Australian Wood Duck family

Shows Pacific Black duck, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Pacific Black duck

Pacific Black ducks (Anas superciliosa) and the Australian Wood duck (Chenonetta jubata) can both be found quite reliably in the Reserve. The lake is well-stocked with yabbies – which supplement the diet of the Pacific Blacks – and there is a range of grasses which supports the Wood Ducks. And, both species also breed here. Mating season has come and gone, and was a time when it was possible to see and hear the ducks checking trees for hollows.

It has been possible to see the remains of eggs and duckling fluff around some of the larger older trees –although, we do wonder how they make it all the way to the lake, given the foxes, the ravens and thrushes…as well as the motor bike users who are not supposed to be here.

There have been quite a few duck families that have made it to the lake.

This family was soaking up the warmth on the bank near the bridge at the informally named ‘Duck Point’ – a place very popular with children who like to feed the ducks (and the Swamp Hens and the one resident Eurasian Coot!) Fortunately, some people have become aware that bread is not the ideal food and have at least shifted to vegetables.

The Wood Duck family seemed happy with those offerings.

Shows Australian Wood duck family, resting in the sun, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Family resting in the sun

Shows Australian Wood duck family, resting in the sun, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

One duckling taking a ride on female duck’s back

Shows Australian Wood duck family, ducklings on the move, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Ducklings starting to move about; male duck still on relaxed lookout duty

Shows Australian Wood duck family, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Some resting; some exploring – heading toward the water

Shows Australian Wood duck family, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Shows Australian Wood duck family, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Closer to water, fossicking for food as they go

Shows Australian Wood duck family, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Male duck turns to face the potential intruder, as a Swamp Hen walks past – Swamp Hens have been known to take ducklings

Shows Australian Wood Duck, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Shows Australian Wood duck family, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

All thirteen ducklings…

2 responses to “Wood duck family affair

  1. Thanks, Cindy – it is delightful when ducklings are on the lake 🙂 Reading this paper (http://wildfowl.wwt.org.uk/index.php/wildfowl/article/viewFile/838/838) it appears these animals are unusual in their extended pair bonding as well as the bi-parental care. The paper also explains some of the behaviour of the male duck, such as its preference for higher ground and its head-up stance and both ducks flying at the other birds – like the Little Cormorants – on the lake if they get too close. Let’s hope they survive the Swamp hens and the foxes, as well as the human influences.
    Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s