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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 02, 2021

Pacific Black Duck: 15 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Discover interesting Pacific black duck facts for kids.

A dabbling duck species, the Pacific black duck (Anas superciliosa) is known by several names, such as gray duck in New Zealand and Parera in the Maori language. This sociable duck is found in countries like Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand. The species also occurs in several of the southwest Pacific Islands.

The species is generally dark brown in color. The head is paler and this bird possesses a dark crown and facial stripes and a dark brown line through the eye surrounded with a cream color. A green speculum on the secondary wing feathers and the pale underwing is visible during flight. Ducks of this species dwelling on the Pacific Islands are generally smaller and darker than populations in New Zealand and Australia. The average body length of the species is around 21.25-24.01 in (54–61 cm) and males tend to be larger than females.

There are three subspecies of the Pacific black duck, these are the Australian duck (Anas superciliosa rogersi), the island black duck (Anas superciliosa pelewensis), and the New Zealand gray duck (Anas superciliosa superciliosa).

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the species in the Least Concern category. The population of the species seems to be stable but predation and habitat destruction are both threats to the birds.

For more relatable content, check out these common murre facts and common goldeneye facts for kids.

Pacific Black Duck Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Pacific black duck?

The Pacific black duck (Anas superciliosa) is a sociable dabbling duck that is also known as a gray duck and as the Parera by those living in New Zealand. The species is very much similar to mallards, and these two species have similar habits.

What class of animal does a Pacific black duck belong to?

The Pacific black duck (Anas superciliosa) belongs to the class of Aves, the family of Anatidae, and the Anas genus. The Australian duck (Anas superciliosa rogersi), the island black duck (Anas superciliosa pelewensis), and the New Zealand gray duck (Anas superciliosa superciliosa) are three subspecies of the Pacific black duck.

How many Pacific black ducks are there in the world?

The population size of these birds is around 180,000-1,200,000 individuals. In 1993, the population of these birds in New Zealand was around 80,000-150,000 individuals. Studies reveal that numbers of the island black duck (a subspecies of the Pacific black duck) are around 10,000-25,000. These birds are listed in the Least Concern category in the IUCN Red List.

Where does a Pacific black duck live?

These birds are found in is countries like Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand. The species also occurs in several southwest Pacific Islands. The pacific black duck range also includes the Caroline Islands in the north and French Polynesia in the east.

What is a Pacific black duck's habitat?

The typical Pacific black duck habitat ranges from wetland habitats and flooded grasslands, to streams, ponds, fresh or brackish lagoons, and estuaries. During the winter to spring dry season, these birds inhabit coastal waters across northern Australia.

Who do Pacific black ducks live with?

Like other birds, these birds are seen in small flocks, and they are also sometimes found among other duck species such as mallards. In the breeding season, they are found in pairs.

How long does a Pacific black duck live?

The average Pacific black duck lifespan is around only two years, but a few species of the Anas genus generally live for around 12-13 years in the wild. This species' lifespan increases in captivity and studies reveal that these birds usually live for around 20 years in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

The exact Pacific black duck breeding season is not known but the species breeds when there is sufficient water and food available. These birds are monogamous which means males and females mate for life. During the breeding season, several courtship displays are performed to attract each other; these primarily include preening, bobbing, and wing-flapping.

Pacific black duck nesting takes place near a source of water while their nests are generally hidden in tall grasses and tree hollows. Male birds generally do not offer much help in the breeding process. Instead, female birds lay around 8-12 greenish eggs and they incubate these eggs for no more than 30 days. A young bird of this species usually becomes mature when it turns one year old. The survival rate of Pacific black duck eggs is quite low and, sadly, only 20% of ducklings survive past two years of age.  

What is their conservation status?

The population of these birds seems to be stable as of now, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the species in the Least Concern category. Studies state that the combined populations of these birds sit at around 180,000-1,200,000. However, the Pacific black duck species does face threats such as hybridization with mallard birds, predation, and habitat destruction.

Pacific Black Duck Fun Facts

What do Pacific black ducks look like?

The Pacific black duck is generally dark brown in color with a paler head. It has a dark crown and dark facial stripes as well as a dark brown line through each eye surrounded with a cream color. During flight, a green patch can be seen on the secondary wing feathers and the pale underwing. Ducks of this species dwelling on the Pacific Islands are generally smaller and darker than other populations. No evidence of sexual dimorphism has been gathered and both male and female plumages are similar, but the male bird tends to be bigger than the female bird.

These rare Pacific black duck facts would make you love them.

How cute are they?

Pacific black ducks are super cute and they never fail to impress humans with their quack sounds! It is amazing to see them feeding in the night; these birds can dip their heads in the water and catch small invertebrates within seconds! The beautiful appearance of this species makes this bird one of the most beautiful ducks in the world.

How do they communicate?

Like other duck species, these birds use similar methods to communicate. Like their relatives, the American black duck and the mallard, these birds can quack quite loudly. The female bird is able to produce a harsh rapid quack sound with subtle decreases in volume while the male duck is able to produce long quacking sounds. These birds also perform several courtship displays during the breeding season.

How big is a Pacific black duck?

The average body length of the species is around 21.25-24.01 in (54–61 cm) and males tend to be larger than females. These birds are four times bigger than the African pygmy goose while some males are twice the size of the ring-necked duck.

How fast can a Pacific black duck fly?

The exact speed of the species is not known, but the species looks very fascinating in flight.

How much does a Pacific black duck weigh?

The weight of the Pacific black duck is not currently known due to a lack of data.

What are their male and female names of the species?

A male duck is known as a drake while a female is referred to as Pacific black duck hen.

What would you call a baby Pacific black duck?

The term duckling is used to refer to a Pacific black duck baby. Ducklings become mature when they turn one year old and, sadly, only 20% of young birds survive past two years of age.

What do they eat?

The species is an omnivore and the average Pacific black duck diet includes seeds, crustaceans such as shrimps and worms, mollusks, snails, and other aquatic insects. These birds are preyed upon by several wild animals such as otters, skunks, raccoons, foxes, and many more.

Are they dangerous?

Unlike some other birds, these birds are quite calm and friendly. They will not attack humans unless someone tries to harm them.

Would they make a good pet?

No, these birds do not make great pets.

Did you know...

The Mandarin duck is considered by many as the most beautiful duck in the world, but we think that the Pacific black duck could give it a run for its money!

Are Pacific black ducks endangered?

The species is not endangered as their population is generally increasing year by year.

What's the difference between a Pacific black duck and a mallard duck?

These related species are very similar as the two species have similar habits. They can also interbreed in some situations where mallard ducks have been released for breeding with Pacific black ducks. Unlike mallard ducks, Pacific black ducks are dark brown. Mallard ducks instead have white patches on the belly and a white tail.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our Radjah shelduck facts and ancient murrelet facts pages.

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

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