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King of the Pond
Lens: DA*300 f4 Camera: K3 Photo Location: Canberra, Australia ISO: 800 
Posted By: RobG, 06-14-2015, 04:01 AM

This guy owns the pond, and was making sure all the other ducks knew about it!


Male Musk Duck
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr
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06-14-2015, 04:53 AM   #2
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Great shot of "animal behavior"! That's one interesting-looking duck--very different from the species I know of in this hemisphere.
06-14-2015, 05:05 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by CreationBear Quote
Great shot of "animal behavior"! That's one interesting-looking duck--very different from the species I know of in this hemisphere.
Thanks! I'm going to see if I can make a very short video clip from the stills I shot. Even for here, it's an unusual duck. Most ducks swim with their tails out of the water, but this guy only lifts up his tail during display. It seems that they catch their food underwater and share a similar diet to the Platypus, which of course isn't a bird at all.

Here's what that splash looks like.

Splash!
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

Actually, this bird was a little lazy. The first one I saw years ago in Sydney made a much bigger splash. Of course it could have been mating season and he was showing off for the ladies!

Last edited by RobG; 06-14-2015 at 05:12 AM.
06-14-2015, 05:10 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
share a similar diet to the Platypus

Outstanding, I was just thinking that there was something sinuous about your musk dusk that reminded me of the otters we have here in North America....look forward to the video!


06-14-2015, 08:28 AM   #5
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I like ducks, so I find this fascinating. An excerpt from Wikipedia:

"The musk duck (Biziura lobata) is a highly aquatic, stiff-tailed duck native to southern Australia. It is the only living member of the genus Biziura. An extinct relative, the New Zealand musk duck or de Lautour's duck (B. delautouri), once occurred on New Zealand, but is only known from prehistoric subfossil bones. It was about 8% longer than the living species, with a particularly large head.[2]

This animal derives its common name from the peculiar musky odour it emanates during the breeding season. Musk ducks are moderately common through the Murray-Darling and Cooper Creek basins, and in the wetter, fertile areas in the south of the continent: the southwest corner of Western Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania."

Last edited by luftfluss; 06-14-2015 at 04:02 PM.
06-14-2015, 03:57 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
An extinct relative, the New Zealand musk duck or de Lautour's duck (B. delautouri), once occurred on New Zealand, but is only known from prehistoric subfossil bones. It was about 8% longer than the living species, with a particularly large head.
I missed that in the Wiki entry. Many species of birds in NZ became larger than their ancestors. New Zealand would have been a fascinating place for birds before the arrival of humans. I think the only native furry animals were a couple of species of bats, and birds occupied many niches normally taken up by other kinds of animals.
06-14-2015, 04:10 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
I think the only native furry animals were a couple of species of bats, and birds occupied many niches normally taken up by other kinds of animals.
That's very interesting, too. I had no idea.

I greatly respect the efforts of Aus and NZ in keeping their wildlife free from invasive species. I know things haven't always worked out great, but its a very worthy endeavor IMO.
06-14-2015, 08:09 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
That's very interesting, too. I had no idea. I greatly respect the efforts of Aus and NZ in keeping their wildlife free from invasive species. I know things haven't always worked out great, but its a very worthy endeavor IMO.
I appreciate the efforts too! I only wish it was true that we've succeeded in eliminating or reducing the impact of feral species. A number of feral species have been introduced to New Zealand which have caused a great deal of damage - one being the Australian Brush-tailed Possum. The most damaging feral species in Australia are foxes, rabbits, cats, pigs, goats, water buffalo, cane toads and camels. There was a degree of success with two different rabbit diseases but they are coming back again, and fox numbers are rising along with the rabbits. Australia has the world's largest population of wild camels. Cane toads have done untold damage to ecosystems killing fish and reptiles. Having said that, there have been some success stories with putting some endangered species on islands to protect them from ferals. The biggest recent success story has been the elimination of rabbits from Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean to protect plant and animal species there.

It's hard to understand today why some species were introduced; rabbits and foxes were introduced by English settlers so they could pursue the same sport hunting they enjoyed in England, without any thought of the consequences. Why would you introduce sparrows or starlings? Ironically Australia has a bigger healthy population of sparrows than the UK due to disease over there. Meanwhile we're still clearing Koala habitat and other old growth forests. It's bizarre.

06-15-2015, 09:48 PM   #9
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I see these guys in Yerrabi Pond often but I've never managed a photo of this standard.
06-15-2015, 11:55 PM   #10
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I had to take a good look to see what end off the duck is what , never seen a duck like this. Great photo
06-16-2015, 04:33 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike L Quote
I see these guys in Yerrabi Pond often but I've never managed a photo of this standard.
Thanks Mike! Interesting to know that they are up there. The only ducks I've seen there are Hardheads and Black Ducks.

QuoteOriginally posted by Carpon Quote
I had to take a good look to see what end off the duck is what , never seen a duck like this. Great photo
I know what you mean about the pose; it's pretty bizarre! It's going to take me a while to try to make a video clip; the pics were all handheld, so putting the duck in the same location in the frame will be a challenge.
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