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Blue-billed Duck

Dive, dive, dive!

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This shy little duck spends more time underwater than on-top of it. Catch a glimpse at the Zoo when it surfaces.

Description: The male Blue-billed duck has a black head, dark brown body and a brown bill. During the mating season the male’s bill will turn a bright blue, giving the duck its name. The female’s body is a plain brown with a grey-brown bill.

Diet: Blue-billed Ducks are omnivores. They spend a lot of their time diving underwater for food, searching for insect larvae, seeds and leaves.

In the wild: When these ducks are disturbed, instead of flying away, they dive underwater. This is due to their compact body shape; their tail-ends are heavy and give a slow take-off. They are, however, excellent and speedy swimmers.

Threats: Destruction of habitat threatens the Blue-billed Duck, in particular land clearing, cropping, drainage and salinisation of water bodies and burning of riparian vegetation. The Blue-billed Duck is listed as vulnerable in New South Wales.

Did you know?

The Blue-billed Duck is rarely seen because they not only spend a lot of time underwater, but also because they are very shy.

Precinct
Australian Wetlands
Other name
Stiff-tail, Spinetail, Diving-duck
Scientific name
Oxyura australis
Conservation status
Least Concern
Body length
35–44 cm
Weight
850 g
Class
Bird
Incubation
26–28 days
Number of eggs
4–6
Distribution
South-western and south-eastern Australia
Habitat
Deep freshwater rivers and lakes with dense vegetation
Region
Australia

Where you can find me

Where you can find me

Map of Perth Zoo highlighting the Australian Wetlands