Here in Broome we observe a good selection of ducks and the most prolific at the Broome Poo Ponds is usually the Plumed Whistling-Duck. One of our favourite ducks is the Pink-eared Duck. There are also Hardheads, Wandering Whistling-Ducks, Grey Teal, Australian Wood Ducks and the occasional influx of Freckled Ducks or an Australian Shoveler. The other duck species that we observe often is the Pacific Black Duck and this duck is one of the most versatile ducks in Australia and can be found in most places.

Pacific Black Ducks lay up to 16 eggs and sometimes two clutches are raised in a year. However, not all of these ducklings will survive or we’d be invaded with ducks! Many bird species have bred around Broome over recent months and the Pacific Black Ducks were no different. Every visit to the flooded Roebuck Plains we encountered a growing population of all bird species including the Pacific Black Ducks.

In the header photo the light has captured the glossy green feathers in the secondary flight feathers. Some of the larger families of Pacific Black Ducks are already reduced in size and by the time the young ducklings look like the adults their numbers have diminished. The stripe around their eyes makes them quite a distinctive duck.

Pacific Black Ducks

One of the larger families of Pacific Black Ducks that we have observed this year appears to have been able to use the culvert under the highway as a place to hide from predators. Often we would see them swim under the highway and reappear on the other side. I am not sure if it was really what helped them be more successful, but it was a great escape route anyway!

Pacific Black Ducks swimming under the highway and popping out the other side!

Written by Clare M
Clare and her husband, Grant, have lived permanently in Broome, Western Australia since 1999 after living in various outback locations around Western Australia and Darwin. She has lived in the Middle East and the United States and traveled extensively in Europe. She monitors Pied Oystercatchers breeding along a 23km stretch of Broome's coastline by bicycle and on foot. She chooses not to participate in social media, but rather wander off into the bush for peace and tranquility. Thankfully she can write posts in advance and get away from technology!