Paradise Shelduck

This beautiful endemic shelduck has a large body like a goose and we see them often whether in city parks or farm fields. Wild ones aren’t tolerant of disturbance and readily take off with both birds in full cry – they are very noisy with distinct male/female voices and both are very vocal. The duck with the white head is the female. They mate for life.

I took these photos at Dunedin Botanic Garden at various times during our recent stay in Dunedin 23-25 June 2020. The 1st and 3rd photos were taken together, from a pedestrian bridge that’s high above a stream. Very fond of these vigilent birds. Sometimes see them perched on the top of fence-posts and in Christchurch I once saw a pair up high on the crossbar of a power-pole. New Zealand

Click on ANY photo below to enlarge

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Tadorna variegata. Pūtangitangi.

If you’d like to read more there’s lots of information online about paradise shelducks. I’ll just provide one link that contains easily read, concise information:

Paradise Shelduck   / by Tiritiri Matangi Open Sanctuary


Text and photos by Liz; Exploring Colour (2020)

16 thoughts on “Paradise Shelduck

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    1. Handsome is a good word for them Ellen! I’m glad you enjoyed the context shot, I remembered to take it before moving on 🙂 The stream eventually joins the other one where I got the photo of the kowhai/grafitti.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Lovely birds aren’t they. We have a couple of resident pairs on our farm and each year after duck shooting season we cross our fingers that they’re still around to raise a new brood.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish we had these ducks here, very eye-catching and I like all the complex patterns. The big refuge (10k acres) near my hometown gets canvasbacks, which are pretty big, but as the name suggests, not as colorful as these Shelducks.

    Liked by 1 person

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