Paradise Shelduck

Maori Name: 
Putangitangi
Scientific Name: 
Tadorna variegata
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63 cm; 6 1700 g, Q 1400 g. Large goose-like duck with orange-chestnut undertail and tertials. Male has black head with greenish gloss, body dark grey finely barred black. Female has brilliant white head, body bright orange-chestnut, obscured by darker fine barring in eclipse plumage. Juveniles like male, but immature females develop white patches around eyes and at base of bill. In flight, prominent white patches on upperwings. Often call; male a deep ''zonk-zonk . . .'', female a shrill ''zeek, zeek . . .'' Mostly seen as pairs or in large flocks, especially during the moult in Dec-Mar. Habitat: Farmland, lakes, ponds and high-country riverbeds. Breeding: Aug-Dec.

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