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Hardhead or White-eyed Duck

Aythya australis


The Hardhead is endemic to Australia, and is also the only true diving duck found in Australia. A striking duck, it medium-sized, mainly rich chocolate brown, with a white undertail. Males have a distinct white eye, while the eye is brown in females. The bill is pale blue on the tip.


A pond at the Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens, established on subtropical woodland. Habitat also liked by other native water birds such as pacific black ducks and dusky moorhens (last shot).


The third shot shows the duck's pectens, used as food-strainer and as a comb for preening. Hardheads are true lovers of water and are often seen in lasge numbers in freshwater swamps and wetlands, occasionally in sheltered estuaries. This duck is a vagrant in New Zealand and New Guinea.

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DanielePralong 10 years ago

Thanks Neil! A real poser :-) He was just standing to complete his extensive preening routine. I was lucky!

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 10 years ago

Haha Nice pics. How did you get yours to stand up? Mine was just too lazy to even try. (I seem to attract those spottings). I didn't know about the duck's pectens either. Very interesting.

Spotted by

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Spotted on Apr 6, 2014
Submitted on Apr 28, 2014

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