Bird of the week – Pacific Black Duck Anas superciliosa


The Pacific Black Duck is a medium-sized duck. It is common around streams, lakes and swamps. The female’s call is a loud ‘quack’. The male’s call is a soft warble.

What the Pacific Black Duck looks like


The Pacific Black Duck is 50-60 cm in length. It is covered in feathers that are brown edged with buff. It has a brown stripe through each eye and a cream stripe above and below this brown stripe. The top of its head is brown. It has a bright green patch on each wing. The Pacific Black Duck has an olive-grey beak, brown eyes and olive-grey legs and feet.

Where the Pacific Black Duck lives


The Pacific Black Duck lives throughout Australia, except for inland deserts. It also lives in Sumatra, New Guinea, New Zealand and on many islands in the Pacific Ocean. It is found in freshwater swamps and lakes and also around brackish water.

What the Pacific Black Duck eats


The Pacific Black Duck eats water plants and their seeds, and insects, yabbies and shrimps. It feeds by dabbling at the water surface, dredging the swamp bottom and putting its head and neck underwater.

How the Pacific Black Duck breeds


Pacific Black Ducks form pairs for the breeding season.

The adults breed in winter to spring in the south, summer to autumn in the north and when the rivers are flooding in the inland. The male preens, bobs and flaps his wings to attract a female. The adults mate.

The female lays seven to thirteen eggs in a scrape on the ground, a cup-shaped nest in reeds or a hole in a tree. She sits on the eggs to keep them warm.

The chicks hatch after three and a half to four and a half weeks.

The chicks grow into adults.


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