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This is a female Paradise Shelduck. In Māori they are called Pūtangitangi/Pūtakitaki and they are endemic to New Zealand. They both have rather striking plumage, exhibiting sexual dimorphism. The female has a white head and chestnut body and the male (see spotting: https://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/20... ) has a black head and barred black body.
Her and the male were drinking water from where the estuary flows into the sea near the end of the beach at Smails Beach, Dunedin.
It was a reasonably cool day with cloud cover. Bit of a breeze on arrival which picked up a bit and there was a light sprinkle when leaving the beach. This pair didn't appear very bothered at us being near them. Some interesting reading from the Department of Conservation: https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-an...
Spotted on Aug 26, 2021
Submitted on Aug 29, 2021
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