Australian Wood Duck
Wood ducks are one of those ducks that I always seem to see in pairs. Perhaps it is just that the male and female ducks are easily distinguished by the boy’s darker head and the ladies white eye liner. She is also more comfortable with print as the speckles on her chest extend down to her flanks while he matches his with a simple grey.
There are other differences too, but by this point I’m pretty sure I have the two worked out. It’s all enough to let you know they they are together. Like they are wearing matching jackets or something.
For all I know pacific black ducks might hang out in couples too – I’ve just never noticed.
It’s August here in WA, which means the end of winter and the all too early start of spring. In addition to the coming of the allergy season and concerns that we really haven’t had enough rain, we get the ducklings.
All of the youngsters have the white stripe above and below the eye – I’m not sure at what age they will start to differentiate between male and female.
In the metro area mums and dads seem to be quite relaxed having people about their brood. If you sit yourself down a decent distance away it is not uncommon for the family to come to you.
Seeing the little ones bobbing about in the water is very cute. They need to be careful though – there are some places where getting in is easy, and getting out is hard.
After a good bit of eating and swimming they all snuggle up for a bit of a nap while Mum and Dad watch over them.
I have also discovered a great new Facebook Group, Western Australian Birds.