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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

Australian Wood Duck: 21 Facts You Won't Believe!

Australian wood duck facts are interesting.

The Australian wood duck (Chenonetta jubata) is a medium-sized goose-like duck endemic to Australia. They are commonly visible in most parts of Australia except the dry and arid regions. They have a pale gray body with a dark brown head. In females, the dark brown head is paler. It is believed that the Australian wood duck protected by the state's law is the most famous duck species of Australia. They are also known as maned duck or maned goose.

These birds are not passionate swimmers and are rarely seen on open water. They are found on the banks of inlets and bays of flooded pastures, grasslands, wetlands, open woodlands, and along the coast. Sometimes they can also be found near fields of rice, ponds of sewage, farmland with dams, and urban parks. The Australian wood duck is widespread in Australia including New Zealand and Tasmania. Unlike other waterbirds, this species nests in trees around water in order to forage by dabbling on insects on land found around deeper lakes. They feed on whatever they can find on land like grains, grass, clover, and other herbs. To know more about these birds, check out these amazing facts.

For similar content check out marbeled godwit and godwit facts too.

Australian Wood Duck Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Australian wood duck?

The Australian wood duck (Chenonetta jubata) is a medium-sized duck endemic to Australia.

What class of animal does an Australian wood duck belong to?

The Australian wood duck of Anseriformes order and Anatidae family belong to the class Aves, the common class for all birds.

How many Australian wood ducks are there in the world?

The Australian wood duck is spread across Australia including some vagrant populations in New Zealand and Tasmania. Their global population is not under any threat as of yet. The exact number of birds is unknown but population surveys of the bird in its range suggest that there is a minimum population of 10,000 individuals with the higher boundary assumed to exceed 500,000-1,000,0000 individuals. Overall these ducks are following a stable population trend. Owing to their practice of intense foraging as they exploit grasslands and crops for food, this species can be found across a large area.

Where does an Australian wood duck live?

The Australian wood duck is a native duck that resides all over the wet and swampy regions of Australia. However, they are absent from the arid desert zones. These ducks mainly populate the eastern and southwestern parts of Australia. Apart from that, a vagrant population is also found in Tasmania with small numbers in New Zealand.

What is an Australian wood duck's habitat?

The Australian wood duck is found throughout a large variety of habitats ranging from wet marshes to waste stabilization ponds, and in urban parks. They prefer to stay around freshwater areas covered with low grass and bushes and fewer trees. They are often found dabbling in shallow water, or other grasslands, wetlands, open woodlands, and flooded pastures like lakes. These wood ducks can also be spotted in open spaces such as woodlands and grasslands, scavenging for food. Wood ducks do not stay inside the water like other ducks, rather they reside along waterbodies like deep lakes that are probably home to other animals. Apart from around sewage ponds, rice fields, water, or grasslands, they are also found near inlets and bays. This bird nests in trees found in grasslands, open woods, and wetlands during the breeding season. The bird's nests is generally observed in scattered mature trees avoiding dense growth. Common occurrences of the Australian wood duck habitat are also observed in grazed lands, ponds of urban areas, alien wetlands, and croplands.  

Who do Australian wood ducks live with?

Australian wood ducks are highly gregarious and are generally found living in groups. They form large and stable flocks containing more than 150 birds.

How long does an Australian wood duck live?

The lifespan of an Australian wood duck is not determined however, other species of wood ducks are known to live up to three to four years of age.

How do they reproduce?

The maned duck does not have any specific breeding season. It varies according to its places of occurrence depending on seasonal rainfall. In southern Australia, the bird breeds from September to November while in northern parts, breeding takes place between January and March. The ducks mate for life, forming monogamous pairs within their flocks. The pairs build their nests with each other in hollow tree cavities or in nest boxes. After mating, the females lay eight to 11 eggs on average in a single clutch although as many as 18 eggs have been recorded in this species. The young chicks emerge from the eggs after an incubation period of 28-34 days. They are incubated by both parents and after birth, the males guard the nests. The chicks are fed by their parents until they fly from the nest after 57 days.

What is their conservation status?

Australian wood ducks are listed as a species of Least Concern in the IUCN Red List. Their population is not threatened by any known major threats. Their large extent does not let them fall under the vulnerable category.

Australian Wood Duck Fun Facts

What do Australian wood ducks look like?

The Australian wood duck is a medium-sized bird with physical similarities to a goose. They have a pale gray body with a dark brown head. Two black stripes run along the bird's back part. The male and the female species can be easily distinguished because of the noticeable sexual dimorphism that exists between the genders. The males have a darker head than the females, and they also have a dark mane around the head. The females are identified by the two white stripes present under their eyes.

Australian wood ducks forage at night.

How cute are they?

The round and pudgy structure of the body makes this duck look quite cute.

How do they communicate?

These birds communicate with each other by making a 'mew-ing' sound. The males have a louder call than the females.

How big is an Australian wood duck?

The length of an Australian wood duck ranges between 17.3-20 in (44-51 cm). They are smaller in size than American black ducks.

How fast can an Australian wood duck move?

Australian wood ducks is a sedentary species that move sluggishly in the presence of trees. Their speed is not determined.

How much does an Australian wood duck weigh?

The weight of a maned duck ranges between 23.3-34.7 oz (662-984 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male duck is called a drake and the female is called a hen.

What would you call a baby Australian wood duck?

The baby of a duck is called a duckling.

What do they eat?

The diet of an Australian wood duck includes grains, grass, clover, and other herbs, and occasionally insects. This duck is rarely seen feeding on insects.

Are they dangerous?

These ducks are sometimes seen as agricultural pests because of their foraging tendencies on croplands.

Would they make a good pet?

Wood ducks cannot be domesticated as they are protected by the state and it is illegal to own one.

Did you know...

The males have a dark mane around the head. For this reason, these birds are also popularly referred to as maned duck or maned goose.

What are the different types of wood duck?

There are many species that are similar to an Australian wood duck, including the original American wood ducks. Some of them are the Mandarin duck, the American wigeon, the blue-winged teal, the ring-necked duck, and the green-winged teal.

Do Australian wood ducks migrate?

Australian wood duck migration is induced by seasonal changes. Studies have shown that some birds migrate to the north in the spring season while few moved to eastern countries.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these limpkin facts and common snipe facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Australian wood duck coloring pages.

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