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New Zealand Scaup
Male
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Aythya
Species: A. novaeseelandiae
Binomial name
Aythya novaeseelandiae
(Gmelin, 1789)

The New Zealand Scaup (Aythya novaeseelandiae) commonly known as a Black teal, is a diving duck species of the genus Aythya. It is endemic to New Zealand. In Maori commonly known as papango, also matapouri, titiporangi, raipo [1].

Contents

Description

Overall dark brown/black colours. The male has a striking yellow eye and a dark coloured (greenish) head. The female is similar to the male, but without the yellow eye and has a white face patch during breeding season. A white wing bar can be seen in both sexes when in flight [2].

Feeding

They are a diving duck and may stay down for twenty to thirty seconds and go down three metres to look for aquatic plants, small fish, water snails, mussels and insects [3][4]. It is sometimes seen with the Australian Coot (Fulica atra); it is thought that the Scaup takes advantage of the food stirred up by the Coots as they fossick for shrimps.[4]

Female

Distribution

Found throughout both North and South islands of New Zealand in deep freshwater lakes and ponds [2]. Unlike other members of this genus this scaup is not migratory, although it does move to open water from high country lakes if they become frozen in winter.[4]

Life cycle

They nest from October to March. They lay five to eight cream/white eggs in a nest close to water, often under banks or thick cover. The nest is usually lined with grass and down [2]. The eggs are incubated for four weeks by the female. The newly hatched duckling take to diving for food on their first outing.[4]

References

  1. ^ Moncrieff, Perrine (1961). New Zealand Birds and How to Identify Them. Whitcombe and Tombs Ltd. p. 113.  
  2. ^ a b c Marshall, Janet; F.C. Kinsky, C.J.R. Robertson (1972). Common Birds in New Zealand. A.H. & A.W. Reed. p. 31. ISBN 0 589 00230 0.  
  3. ^ Orbell, Margaret (2003). Birds of Aotearoa. Reed Publishing NZ Ltd. p. 129. ISBN 0 7900 0909 9.  
  4. ^ a b c d Lockley, Ronald M. (1980). New Zealand Endangered Species. Cassell NZ. p. 82. ISBN 0908 572 220.  
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