A Gathering of Ducks

Early in the week the number of ducks swelled to around 35. They gathered on the shore of the dam and spent some time swimming. Unfortunately, in the search for a good shot, I took one step too close and scared them all away.

 

Duck Food

Australian Wood Ducks get most of their food on dry land. They walk around searching for insects and seeds int he grass.

Plumage

These ducks are beautifully marked. The females have a paler head with with stripes over the eye. Males have the darker brown heads with a small black mane on the back of their heads.

Group of Four

Three male ducks and one female duck, posing quietly for the camera.

A Quick Snooze

Every now and then the ducks seem to form a group and have a sleep. They are never off duty though, and there is always at least one keeping an eye on things.

It has been quite a busy week. In those moments where I just want a break, I have been very thankful for the return of the Australian Wood Ducks which are back after spending the Summer elsewhere.  For some reason, they seem much more relaxed near the house, which is fantastic. It has given me an opportunity to observe them more closely.

The size of the group varies. We have had two ducks, four ducks, five ducks, seven ducks, eleven ducks, and on one occasion, more than thirty-five ducks!  The core size of the group seems to be somewhere between four and seven ducks.  The spend their day picking food on the lawn, swimming in the dam, sleeping in the shade beneath a tree, and working out who is dominant by chasing each other around. They are endlessly amusing and so very beautiful to watch.  I just love their plumage.

Seen alongside Cockatoos, I found it surprising to see they are around the same size.  So compared with many ducks, they are quite small.  I know that over the next few months the ducks will begin to pair off and prepare for the breeding season.  I can’t wait to see the next batch of ducklings in Spring.