Australian Wood Ducks (Chenonetta jubata)– medium-sized ‘goose-like’ ducks with a dark brown head and a paler grey or brownish body, with two black stripes along the back – are frequent visitors to the Dawn Road Reserve.
This pair (female at the rear, male in foreground) are scavenging along the recently cleared embankment just before revegetation began. Interestingly, the male has a small, black mane-like crest on the back of his head and neck. That crest can be erected in display, much like a cockatoo.
According to arkive.org: “While the female Australian wood duck is generally rather noisy, producing a distinctive, drawn-out and mournful mewing sound, the male is only known to make weak sounds, including a soft, wheezy and somewhat nasal call. The male is also capable of producing a deep rumbling noise during its breeding display, as well as a soft call to maintain contact with its brood. The female maintains contact with the ducklings with a conversational cluck.”
Images: Trina McLellan