Nature Stuff

Pacific Black Ducks

This is one common duck throughout Australia. Chances are that if ducks are visiting a permanent Australian lake, pond or wetland then Pacific Blacks could be among them.

Pacific Black Duck

Pacific Black duck (Anas superciliosa) makes an almighty splash as it touches down during a water landing on a Sydney pond.

In the wild these ducks are easily spooked by people and it’s really hard to get near them. However in the city they will often learn to associate people with food and they won’t be so nervous. In places where people feed them the ducks can become quite bold and sometimes even aggressive towards each other.

Pacific Black Duck Pacific Black duckling

1: Pacific Black Duck  2: The ducklings are surprisingly good swimmers.

What do they look like?

The photos on this page describe these birds better than I can. Being a common duck throughout Australia chances are most Aussies have seen some. There are some ducks which look pretty similar, but I supppse the notable features of Pacific Blacks are the mainly dark brown feathers which are each edged in light brown, plus the distinctive stripe running through the eye. And something I’ve been waiting this whole website to say: Looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck.

Grey Teal

At first glance the Grey Teal could be mistaken for a Pacific Black Duck but it lacks the stripe through the eye

What do they eat?

They might pick up the odd small water critter but these ducks are mainly seed eaters, a feature which has not endeared them to rice farmers. However it seems that these ducks don’t eat much of the farmers’ crops. Most of the time, they’re happy to paddle around the shallows nibbling on seeds along the water’s edge.

They tend to breed when conditions are at their best, which usually means after lots of rain and lots of plant growth.

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