Blue-billed Duck

on 30th January 2023
                                                                                    Australian Blue-billed duck ( Oxyura australis )

Wong Kais spotted a single male Blue-billed duck at the Warrnambool Botanic Gardens on 30 October 2022.  It was very avoidant in behaviour and only a few quick shots and a short video were obtained after 30 minutes. The photo gallery below is a sample of the photos of this elusive duck.

Image A : Australian Blue-billed duck (Oxyura australis) ( Warrnambool Botanic Garden, 30th October 2022). Body is deep reddish brown color, head is black, bill is powder-blue. Black eyes are well camouflaged by the black head. It is a diving duck that usually sits low in the water, with its short spiky tail submerged. They are rather shy. When they notice an observer nearby, they will frequently dive or sneak into the reeds, making it difficult to obtain a good picture.
Image B : sits low in water, with short spiky tail submerged.
Image C: turns and swims away when photographer came into its view.
Image D: A closer shot of the duck.
Image E: Blue-billed duck swimming amongst water lily plants.
Image F: Another perspective of the duck amongst water lily plants.
Image G: short spiky tail seen when it dives.  Water cascades over the stiff tail feathers.
Image H: Black eyes indistinguishable from the black head.
Image I: Duck paddling in the pond.
Image J: The eyes are discernible in this close-up shot.
Image K: Paddling away very quickly.
Image L: Again and again, the duck paddled away when it spotted the photographer’s interest in it.


photos, videos, texts by Michael wong



( 1 ) Birds of Australia – A photographic guide by Iain Campbell, Sam Woods and Nick Leseberg

( 2 ) Australian Wildlife by Leonard Cronin

( 3 ) Fleurieu Birds by Peter Gower

( 4 ) Field Guide to Australian Birds by Micheal Morcombe

( 5 ) Wildlife of Australia by Iain Campbell and Sam Woods

( 6 ) The Robins and Flycatchers of Australia by Walter E. Boles

( 7 ) Handbook of the Birds of the World vol. 1 edited by Josep del Hoyo, Andrew Elliott and Jordi Sargatal

( 8 ) Wikipedia

( 9 ) Blue-billed duck : Game management authority Australia

(10) Blue-billed ducks, males and females, videoed by Allan Broomhall at Edithvale wetlands


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If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

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