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The Pacific black duck (Anas superciliosa) is a dabbling duck found in much of Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, and many islands in the southwestern Pacific, reaching to the Caroline Islands in the north and French Polynesia in the east. It is usually called the grey duck in New Zealand, where it is also known by its Maori name, pārera.
Range map from www.oiseaux.net - Ornithological Portal Oiseaux.net
www.oiseaux.net is one of those MUST visit pages if you're in to bird watching. You can find just about everything there
This sociable duck is found in a variety of wetland habitats, and its nesting habits are much like those of the mallard, which is encroaching on its range in New Zealand. It feeds by upending, like other Anas ducks.
It has a dark body, and a paler head with a dark crown and facial stripes. In flight, it shows a green speculum and pale underwing. All plumages are similar. The size range is 54–61 cm; males tend to be larger than females, and some island forms are smaller and darker than the main populations.
It is not resident on the Marianas islands, but sometimes occurs there during migration. The now extinct Mariana mallard was probably originally derived from hybrids between this species and the mallard, which came to the islands during migration and settled down there.
There are three subspecies of Anas superciliosa:
• rogersi − Mathews, 1912 Australasian duck, breeds in Indonesia, southern New Guinea and Australia
•pelewensis − Hartlaub & Finsch, 1872 – Island black duck, breeds on the southwest Pacific islands and northern New Guinea
•superciliosa Gmelin, 1789 − New Zealand grey duck, breeds in New Zealand
The New Zealand subspecies has declined sharply in numbers, at least in its pure form, due to competition from and hybridisation with the introduced mallard. Rhymer et al. (1994) say their data "points to the eventual loss of identity of the grey duck as a separate species in New Zealand, and the subsequent dominance of a hybrid swarm akin to the Mariana Mallard."
It was assumed that far more mallard drakes mate with grey duck females than vice versa based on the fact that most hybrids show a mallard-type plumage, but this is not correct; it appears that the mallard phenotype is dominant, and that the degree to which species contributed to a hybrid's ancestry cannot be determined from the plumage.
The main reasons for displacement of the pārera seem to be physical dominance of the larger mallards, combined with a marked population decline of the pārera due to overhunting in the mid-20th century.
Sighted: 27 September 2017
Location: Auckland, Outdoor Gallery, Auckland Airport
Pacific black duck - Anas superciliosa
Going bird watching on New Zealand? I have been to a few places but so far New Zealand is outstanding regarding information on the internet. There are two organizations that are sticking out so far when it comes to information about birds and wildlife/ outdoor living.
Bird information, bird song and maps. Yes, there are excellent trekking maps online so you can plan, or go back after the trek to see where you have been, excellent. I have not been disappointed.
• New Zealand's Department of Conservation www.doc.govt.nz Click on “Nature” or just hoover with the mouse over the “Nature”
Many other places I have been to have excellent maps on site, but trying to find them online rendering nothing but disappointments. The New Zealand's Department of Conservation is the ONE STOP ONLY for everything regarding outdoor activities on New Zealand.
New Zealand Birds Online, there is everything you ever wish to know about the birds on New Zealand. Nothing less than fantastic. Click HERE to down load Checklist of the birds of NZ from New Zealand Birds Online web page nzbirdsonline.org.nz
One of the best web pages I have ever seen when it comes to birding. All the information you can ever ask for and a ONE STOP for all your needs before going bird watching on New Zealand. Range maps, sounds, information and bird lists, everything you need.
PLEASE! If I have made any mistakes identifying any bird, PLEASE let me know on my guestbook