Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 252 - Pink-eared Duck

WBW returns to Australia this week, with the Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus).  This is a wonderful little duck that is widespread throughout much of Australia, although it is absent from parts of the dry interior, far north Queensland and Tasmania.

This duck is 'monotypic', which means it is the only species in its genus. While you can see how the duck got its name in these pictures, they were taken while I was having some of the best views of this species I have ever had.  Normally I see these ducks at a greater distance, and in that situation the 'pink ear' is not really visible.  In the past this duck was referred to as the 'zebra duck' - and at long range this actually makes a lot of sense

You can also see from the pictures that this duck has a rather strange shaped bill.  The shape of the bill is formed by two fleshy flaps that hang down at the front and side - this feature is referenced in both parts of the scientific name.  These flaps (and associated whiskers) allow this duck to filter feed.

All of these pictures were taken this weekend when I visited a new (for me) hide at Edithvale Wetalnds, which is about 1/2 an hour from my house.  I will be going there again.

When I was there, I discovered an important thing:  if you do not want to look like a complete idiot in public, make sure that the lens hood of your lens does not fall out of the hide window and scare away the ducks!











As ever, to join in with WBW click the blue button below the thumbnails.  SM

29 comments:

Gordon said...

That is one amazing looking duck Stewart, its like a mixture of other ducks rolled into one.
Take care, Goron.

eileeninmd said...

Hell, what a cool looking ducks. Their pink ears are neat. Great post and photos. Thanks for hosting, have a happy week!

NatureFootstep said...

now I get yellous, I saw this bird one of the days I was in Queensland but so far away I hardly recognized it. Thanks for sharing your beautifull images.

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

This is certainly an unusual and handsome creature. I wonder if they have been taken by aviculturists. Their feeding requirements must be specialized for their particular habitat.

Sharon Wagner said...

I wouldn't want to scare away that unusual duck either. He is so cool looking. Glad you got a close up.

Екатерина Балагурова said...

I've never seen such duck!! What a wonderful pink spot! =)

Phil Slade said...

That is a rather strange one Stewart. I'm not surprised it's the only one of its genus. You made me laugh with the tale about the falling lens hood - at least it wasn't the whole lens.

Jo said...

Oh my word, Stewart. This is a beautiful duck. I love its strange bill and the stripes which obviously gives it the other name of Zebra Duck. Thanks for sharing and thanks for hosting this meme. I'll link up tomorrow (Wednesday). I had a chuckle about your lens cap falling and scaring away the ducks! Have a great day. Jo

Andrea Priebe said...

What a strange beautifully unusual duck and what awesome pictures you got before you scared them off with your lens cover(really?) I think I would have had to give you a hard time had I been there :) Isn't it wonderful to find such a duck and so close to your home ... I am jealous of your ducks and of that fact that you have a camera to have a cover on ... I am still using my cell phone, sadly. Surely it will be ready soon. Have a great week, Stewart ... love these pictures :)

Andrea @ From The Sol

Linda W. said...

What a cute, unusual little duck! Love your photos.

Beth said...

Comical ooking ducks, such a long bill.

Rhodesia said...

A new one on me, great photos. Cheers Diane

Chris Rohrer said...

I love these ducks!!!! They are such weird looking birds. Really really really sweet shots of them.

Frank Boxell said...

Definitely a 'looker'. Excellent shots with or without the lens hood.

Nora said...

Wow what a shocker! I really want one of those up here. Such great photos Stewart and thanks for sharing your world of strange birds and ducks.

Vineeta Yashswi said...

Beautiful...

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

That is an interesting duck ....the specialized beak alone would make it fascinating , but then add in the beautiful markings and pink (!) ears. Very nice. And thanks for letting us in on the secret that even super birders can make an error that scares away the birds. And thanks for hosting.

Lea said...

Beautiful, wonderful photos!
Pink ears! Fascinating!
Have a great week!

Missy George said...

Short, long but stubby bill and the tail looks cropped in some of your pics....Love the feather pattern..Wonderful shots..

Florida Farm Girl said...

What a neat looking duck! So glad you were able to get good looks at them.

LOLfromPasa said...

I love it!

photodoug said...

Stewart, what an interesting duck. Thanks for sharing.

Linda said...

Wow, I've never seen anything like it! Great shots!

Breathtaking said...

Hello Stewart!:) What an amazing looking duck, one I'll remember for sure. Oops, about the lens cover, I have done that, and have regretted it ever since, cos I lost the perfect shot of some egrets. You live and learn, but you got some great shots anyway!!:)

A Quiet Corner said...

Well, as far as the lens cover goes, I dropped mine in the poison ivy rushing to get a shot of the Eagles, Stewart!!! This duck seems to have a long bill (??) or do I need another coffee??...:)JP

June Caedmon said...

What a neat bird, Stewart! Your captures are really fantastic!

hande ercel said...

I like your article because you present the great information about Duck and I really like
Pink-Eared Duck Pictures
such a beautiful pictures you present.

Pat Tillett said...

A Pink Eared Duck, I've never heard of such a thing. They are darn cute though.
Really nice photos Stewart! Even nicer when enlarged.

Dave Lewis said...

Excellent photos of a cool looking bird!
Ah, maybe you need some "duck" tape for that lens hood...