Shelducks on the go

Chestnut-breasted Shelducks are richly plumed birds. The sexes are different – the female is smaller, has a narrow white ring around the eye and a richer chestnut breast.

I still always think of them as ‘Mountain Ducks’, that’s how I knew them as a child growing up. It’s a misnomer really, as this species is more at home on plains country than elsewhere. After breeding they gather in loose congregations, or sometimes in massive ‘moulting flocks’. At these times they are vulnerable to predation as they endure short periods of flightlessness while completing their moult.

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Chestnut-breasted Shelduck pair (female at right), Joyce’s Creek, 12th March 2015.

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II

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2 responses to “Shelducks on the go

  1. Nice flight shots! …. and good to find someone else who calls them Mountain Ducks 🙂

  2. This species has gone through a number of names in the past. I am the same as you Geoff and called them Mountain Ducks when I was a youngster (still have to stop myself sometimes!) Australian Shelduck is the most commonly used name these days but Chestnut-breasted Shelduck, Mountain Duck are used also. Some old timers still call them Sheldrakes too.

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