Monday, 24 September 2012

Meeting the Australian Wood Duck


This beautiful duck, Chenonetta jubata, is the only living species of the genus Chenonetta and has features of both dabbling ducks and geese. They look like small-size geese in many ways, the shape of their beak, the way they graze, their habitat, that is mostly open, short-grass land not far from water, in fact they love golf clubs and similar kind of lawns.


Male and female have obvious differences. The call of the male reminds me of the whistle of the Eurasian Wigeon, but much softer. They can also be heard honking and chattering in a way similar to that of geese.


Their breeding behaviour is similar to that of the American Wood Duck and the Mandarin Duck: the female lays her eggs in a tree cavity and the ducklings will leap from the nest just after hatching, landing on the ground without any injury and following both mother and father thereafter. 


Outside the breeding season I noticed they gather in larger groups, still maintaining visible pair bonds within the flock, males seem to be rather territorial of their feeding patch, chasing away possible competitors in a very goose-like way that is running towards the 'enemy' with head and neck lowered near the ground. I also had the impression that there was some kind of a 'head of the flock' keeping an eye over the fellow members of the group while the others were quietly grazing around. During the breeding season though, the flock seems to break apart and pairs seem to live in a closer relationship on their way to raise a family.


16 comments:

  1. Hi, Matteo,
    Beautiful as always! Very happy to see Australian birds!! Look forward to next.
    Cheers, Sadami

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  2. Ciao Matteo,
    I like very much your taste for details and and your delicacy in painting.
    Thanks for your virtual friendship in Facebook!
    It's a really wonderful blog!
    A hug from Italy

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    1. Ciao Roberto! Thank you very very much for your nice comment.

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  3. Interesting and beautifully-illustrated post, Matteo. Thank you.

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  4. Matteo every time I see your beautiful paintings it gives me such a lot happiness. It is such a marvelous art work.
    Lovely greet
    Marja
    (marjascreativity)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Marja, your nice comments also give me much happiness! Thank you

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  5. Bonjour,
    Je suis heureuse de vous retrouver après mes longues semaines d'absence... Vos canards branchus sont merveilleux. De superbes illustrations.
    J'ai eu la chance ce week-end d'en admirer au parc ornithologique de Villars les Dombes. Je les aime beaucoup.
    Gros bisous à vous

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    Replies
    1. Merci beaucoup Martine, je suis tres heureux de lire nouvellement tes commentaires.
      A bientot!

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  6. Hello Matteo:) Again beautiful paintings! Thank you for sharing the information about them. I really love it!

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  7. hi Matteo! I'm glad you posted this in our "Birds in Art" group on facebook, your art is so beautiful! I haven't been able to paint any birds in long time because I'm working on my children's books. I wanted to ask what kind of watercolor paper your using? I'm trying different ones out and haven't found the perfect one yet. email me if you like at: mary@marymcandrew.com
    Cheers!

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  8. Hi Mary, thank you for your comment, my favourite watercolour papers so far are Arches and Fabriano 300gsm cold pressed, not too rough, not too smooth, there are so many others and each one seems to have something beautiful, I still have lots to try..
    Cheers!

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  9. Charming and beautifully painted :)

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