Saturday, December 2, 2017

Wood Ducks at Summerhill Wetlands

"Summerhill Boulevard residents, in Drouin, have been delighted to see a pair of Wood Ducks with at least 30 little ducklings in tow. For days I have been checking to see if another pair of parents appear, but no - only one male and one female! Wood Duck pairs have been known to share the parenting in a “nursery” arrangement, so I’m wondering if, originally, there were two or more sets of parents. But what happened to the others? Maybe there is a very satisfied fox around Summerhill Boulevard! We can only surmise. If only ducks could talk!"
Thanks Elaine.
A few Wood Duck facts:-
Australian Wood Duck - Chenonetta jubata.
Principally a herbivore but they take some insects at times.
Unusually for ducks, Wood Ducks are a bi-parent species - both parents care for the young (as can be seen in Elaine's picture). They are a monogamous species and probably mate for life.
Widespread across Australia except for the very arid inland zone.
Wood Ducks can have many babies in one brood. The usual number is about 7 to 14. Records show one pair have reared one brood of 33 babies. It is thought that sometimes the babies from more than one set of parents will form a creche. Usually though, when this happens there is evidence of different sizes among the babies. Elaine's picture suggests that all the babies are from the one brood! 

PS: Recent sighting in McNeilly Rd ...
Princess Parrot - almost certainly an escapee from an aviary!

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