Paradise Shelduck Duck
The paradise shelduck duck is a large goose-like duck endemic to New Zealand. Paradise shelducks form long-term pair bonds, often lasting for life, and defend territories. They have a very long breeding season, lasting from August through December.
Male – The male Paradise Shelduck has a blackish head with greenish gloss, finely-barred dark-grey or blackish body, black rump and upper-tail, white coverts, blackish flight feathers, secondaries are glossy-green, tertials are chestnut colored, under-parts are brown, black under tail, dark-grey beak, brown eyes, and legs and feet are blackish.
Female – The female Paradise Shellduck has a white head and neck, and chestnut body.
Size: – Typical Adult is about 25 inches.
Food: – Graze on grasses, clover, grain, peas, weeds, seeds, and aquatic vegetation.
Habitat: – Grasslands, crop fields, wetlands, lakes, rivers, and ponds throughout New Zealand.
Breeding Season: – Lasts August to December.
Eggs: – 5-10 (whitish color).
Notes: – Paradise Shelduck duck’s are endemic to New Zealand. They are known to the Maori as ‘Putangitangi’.
The different types of wild ducks can be grouped into puddle, aka “dabbling” and diving ducks. The dabblers mostly feed in smaller bodies of shallow water or along shorelines, where they are able to tip their bodies forward to reach their food on the bottom. There are divers who feed in deeper water where they dive and pursue their quarry. Some of these birds, the Harlequin Duck for example, actually dives to the bottom of fast-flowing waters and feeds on life forms attached to rocks.