Lord and Lady

This Paradise Duck pair were lording it over the Dunedin Botanic Garden main pond when I visited on a dull day on 19 May. These ducks are endemic to New Zealand and are the size of a large duck or small goose. There’s no shortage of them, they’re the second most common duck in NZ after the mallard. The female has the white head. They have very distinctive cries and male vocalisation is different to the female. They’re very alert and in the rural areas will take off as soon as they spot you, loudly calling in unison, announcing your presence to all and sundry.


Paradise Shelduck ~ Tadorna variegata

More info

You can hear the “Alarm calls of fleeing pair” under the “Sounds” heading, at this web page.


Text and photos by Liz; Exploring Colour (2021)

20 thoughts on “Lord and Lady

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  1. What a gorgeous pair. That white head certainly would be easy to spot at a distance, but all of the colors and patterns are nice. I’ve not seen so many mallards this year. They’re my favorite duck because they’re so approachable, but they haven’t appeared in their usual large numbers since our freeze. I suspect they may have traveled farther south — but who knows?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Paradise ducks are always well turned out, I think they take great pride in their appearance lol. You got a few secs to tell me what your weather’s like? I’m curious as I’m keeping an eye on developments with Hurricane Ida. I know it hasn’t hit land yet but just wanted to know if it’s generally rainy in the lead-up?

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      1. If we were in the path of the storm, there would be rain bands moving ashore ahead of it, but we’re not going to be particularly affected by it. The size of the storm, its speed, and other factors affect how many peole are endangerd by it, but this one’s far enough away that, being on the so-called “clean” or “dry” side, we only have 30-40% chances of rain the next few days: exactly what we’ve had for the past month.

        The primary effects for us will be tidal rise along the coast, and rip currents. If you’d like a really good discussion of what’s going on, a fellow I’ve known for years does the best job. His name is Levi Cowan, and he runs Tropical Tidbits. He’s smart as a whip and an excellent communicator. I first knew him as a high school student in Alaska; now, he’s a Ph.D. and is one of the most well-regarded tropical weather experts around.

        For real-time reports from one of the best chasers, follow Josh Morgerman (@iCyclone) on Twitter. I think he’s crazy, but you’ll see some compelling footage once things get rolling.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks so much Linda! I’ll follow up on those contacts. Bishop Jake Owensby in Alexandria, LA has just reported no sign of the bad stuff yet but they’re prepared for relief work. Sounds like it’ll be a bad one from what I’ve read so far, yikes! 😦

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          1. I’d forgotten about that Louisiana connection you have. I have friends south of him, in Houma, Dulac, and other areas right on the coast. It’s going to be ghastly. This may be the one that finally sends my friend in Dulac back to high ground for good.

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  2. What a beautiful pair, Liz. The colour scheme and pattern on the female are quite something, and he’s no slouch, either. I had a listen to the Alarm call, wowee everything within hearing would take off after that!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We have a Hibiscus i the front yard, Lady Baltimore, so I was thinking flowers. I wasn’t disappointed to see this handsome pair standing out from the crowd. Maybe common but uncommonly beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s a pretty Hibiscus and Zone 4-10 means we could grow it here. These are dapper ducks indeed ~After I’d posted I belatedly thought I could’ve made mention of ‘Peers of the Pond’ 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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