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Natives

Paradise Shelduck

paradise shelduck

Tadorna variegata (also known as Putangitangi, paradise duck)

Distribution:

Endemic to New Zealand and widespread in all but a few areas.

Habitat:

Farmland, grassland, wetlands.

Diet:

Young grasses and clover shoots, grains and seed-heads, swamp and aquatic grasses

Breeding:

August to January

Nest:

Usually depressions in the ground, hudden under shelter and well-lined with down. Also hollow logs, tree holes and rock crevices

Eggs:

Average clutch size of nine eggs incubated for 30-32 days

Chicks:

Parents guard their offspring until they fledge at 56 days

Predators:

Hunters in the duck-shooting season

Conservation status:

Least concern

General:

Both sexes are a similar size. Both have striking plumage, the male a black head and black-barred body, the female a white head and chestnut body.

They live in pairs and often form lifelong bonds, but another partner is found if one bird dies. They are territorial apart from two months spent at a communal site during the annual moult, when they are flightless. Non-breeding birds form flocks which occasionally damage young crops or newly-sown pastures.

General:

Both sexes are a similar size. Both have striking plumage, the male a black head and black-barred body, the female a white head and chestnut body.

They live in pairs and often form lifelong bonds, but another partner is found if one bird dies. They are territorial apart from two months spent at a communal site during the annual moult, when they are flightless. Non-breeding birds form flocks which occasionally damage young crops or newly-sown pastures.