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Australian Wood Ducks

Chenonetta jubata


The Australian Wood Duck is a dabbling duck found throughout much of Australia. It is the only living species in the genus Chenonetta, and is a member of the family Anatidae. This 45–51 cm duck looks like a small goose, and feeds mostly by grazing in flocks. Sexes are easy to tell apart - the male is grey with a dark brown head and mottled breast, and the female has white stripes above and below the eye and mottled underparts. I think they are beautiful birds.


Found in grasslands, open woodlands, wetlands, flooded pastures and along the coast in inlets and bays. It is also common on farmland with dams, as well as around rice fields, sewage ponds and in urban parks. This spotting was at the freshwater lake on the University of Queensland Campus, Brisbane.


The water quality in the lake is currently very poor due to an algal bloom. It is the worst I have ever seen in all the years that I've been coming here. I can only suggest it's due to the current, persistent drought. We've had very little rainfall these past few months to replenish the water, and an excess of nutrients such as phosphate causes the bloom. Animals have to poo, right?

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Neil Ross
Neil Ross a week ago

Thanks, Tukup. These are lovely ducks, but like all ducks, they have zero road sense. I see these guys playing chicken with cars, and it's nerve-wracking. I'm a mess :-/

Tukup a week ago

Wow. Not at all like the American Wood Ducks. Great fotos Neil. Thanks.

Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Lat: -27.50, Long: 153.02

Spotted on Aug 25, 2019
Submitted on Sep 1, 2019

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