Pink-eared Duck

Did you know?

Pink-eared Ducks often feed in head-to-tail pairs swimming in a circle, which concentrates small organisms in a rotating column of water.

Calls
A musical chirruping sound that is unusual for a duck, both while in flight and on water. When fighting, this call becomes almost continuous trilling.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
No
Minimum Size: 
36cm
Maximum Size: 
45cm
Average size: 
40cm
Average weight: 
375g
Breeding season: 
Any time of year, influenced by rainfall and floods.
Clutch Size: 
5 to 8
Incubation: 
26 days
Conservation Status
Federal: 
NSW: 
NT: 
QLD: 
SA: 
TAS: 
VIC: 
WA: 
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Featured bird groups: 
Atlas Number: 
213
What does it look like?
Description: 

The Pink-eared Duck is a small duck with a huge square-tipped grey bill and strongly barred brown flanks. It has a large brown eye patch on a white finely barred face. There is a small pink patch behind the eye. Upper parts are brown, underparts white barred dark brown. The upperwing is brown with a white trailing edge and the underwing linings are white, finely barred brown. In flight, there is a bold white crescent on the rump.

Similar species: 

The Pink-eared Duck is not mistakeable for any other duck.

Where does it live?
Distribution: 

The Pink-eared Duck is found throughout Australia but only occasionally in Tasmania.

Habitat: 

The Pink-eared Duck is found in timbered areas near water. It prefers shallow, temporary waters, however open wetlands support large flocks. It is a highly dispersive and nomadic species.

Seasonal movements: 

Pink-eared Ducks are birds of the inland swamps and will fly great distances in search of water. Huge flocks often reach the coast in dry years.

What does it do?
Feeding: 

Pink-eared Ducks feed in shallow warmish waters. The highly specialised bill is fringed with fine lamellae (grooves) to filter out the microscopic plants and animals which make up the bulk of its diet.

Breeding: 

Breeding can take place all year round and is dependant on floodwaters. The nest is a rounded mass of down placed in a hollow or on a stump above the water. Pink-eared Ducks usually take over nests built by other birds, especially the Eurasian CootFulica atra, and the Black-tailed Native HenGallinula ventralis. Pink-eared Ducks form monogamous, probably life-long pair-bonds. The female incubates the eggs, and both parents brood the young.

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