Pacific Black Duck
Alternate name(s): "Black Duck", "Grey Duck", "Australian Wild Duck", "Brown Duck", "Parera"
Aboriginal name(s): "budhanbaa" [yuwaalaraay], "garrangay" [gamilaraay]; "yet", "ngoonana", "bandji" (WA); "ngari" [yartwatjali, tjapwurrung, djadjawurrung]; "barana", "boorandarra", "currinda", "kooberi", "kooroola", "kumboora", "kurrungi", "maneroo", "mooree", "mara", "koona"
Size: 48-60 cm; wing span 80-94 cm
Weight: 0.87-1.14 kg
|Description Classification Distribution Sightings Photos Breeding Nest Eggs Behaviour Food Call/s|
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Note that the birds shown here are much darker than representations in field guides. Although the infall of sunlight can influence a lot the appearance of ducks in general, in this case this is a systematic effect.
Lateral view of a male Pacific Black Duck in flight, with a brilliant
display of its iridescent
speculum; at this
angle it looks turquoise (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Carrara, Gold Coast, QLD, January 2015]
This female Pacific Black Duck has just been feeding under water
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, November 2010]
Close-up frontal/lateral view of a pair of Pacific Black Ducks;
note how the light conditions make the determination of the sexes
very difficult - the male is at the back right, the female, in
the shade, appears to have an identical crown
[Narrabri, NSW, July 2009]
Lateral view of a pair of Pacific Black Ducks in an urban
how in the shade they really appear to be black... male on
the right, female on the left
[Narrabri, NSW, September 2007]
Lateral view of a pair of Pacific Black Ducks with the male, at
the back, displaying his white underwings
[Pilliga NP, NSW, March 2021]
Near-dorsal view of a pair of Pacific Black Ducks
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, July 2010]
Comparison between Pacific Black Ducks, right, and a
left (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Carrara, Gold Coast, QLD, December 2014]
Lateral view of Pacific Black Ducks in flight
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, August 2010]
Near-dorsal view of Pacific Black Ducks in flight
[Pilliga NP, NSW, June 2020]
Near-dorsal view of a Pacific Black Duck in flight
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, June 2012]
Lateral view of a juvenile Pacific Black Duck
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2020]
Lateral view of a moulting juvenile Pacific Black Duck
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, March 2011]
Frontal view of a Pacific Black Duck duckling (photo courtesy of
[Carrara, Gold Coast, QLD]
Here a Pacific Black Duck family with tiny ducklings
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, October 2010]
Four Pacific Black Duck ducklings in their parents' wake
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, October 2010]
|Social behaviour: Communal||Mobility: Sedentary/nomadic||Elementary unit: Pair|
This photo shows that Pacific Black Ducks also sometimes enter
(photo courtesy of K. Lacanau)
[Rowville, VIC, May 2013]
Like most ducks, Pacific Black Ducks feed on underwater plants. While some duck species dive to get to their food, Pacific Black Ducks (and many other species), feed in shallow water, with their back sticking out as shown below.
For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.
|pacduck_20200215.m4a||(NW NSW)||Contact calls (in flight)||© MD|
|pacduck_20151203.m4a||(W NSW)||Contact calls? (female)||© MD|
|pacduck_20200619.m4a||(NW NSW)||Warning calls (juveniles)||© MD|
We have also recorded the wing beats of a Pacific Black Duck.
|pacduck_20211116.m4a||(NW NSW)||Warning/departure||© MD|
|pacduck_20201209.m4a||(NW NSW)||Departure||© MD|
More Pacific Black Duck sound recordings are available at xeno-canto.org .