The Pink-eared Duck is a beautiful and unique species of bird that is native to Australia and nearby islands. Its name is derived from the distinctive pink patch located behind each ear of the bird, which contrasts beautifully against its predominantly grey and white plumage.
The Pink-eared Duck has a rather unusual appearance compared to many other duck species. It has a large head, a streamlined body, and a long, thin beak. Its wings are short and pointed, and its legs are set far back on its body. These physical features make it an expert swimmer and diver, capable of diving deep underwater for food and swimming rapidly along the surface of the water.
One of the most fascinating characteristics of the Pink-eared Duck is its feeding behavior. Unlike many duck species that rely solely on plant matter, Pink-eared Ducks are omnivores. They feed on a variety of aquatic invertebrates such as crustaceans, mollusks, and insects, as well as small fish and plant matter. They forage for food mainly at night, spending the day resting and preening.
Pink-eared Ducks are usually found in wetlands, lagoons, and other shallow water bodies. They prefer areas with plenty of vegetation for cover but open water for diving and swimming. They tend to live in small groups or pairs, except during the breeding season when they form larger flocks.
The breeding season for Pink-eared Ducks usually occurs between July and December. They build their nests in dense vegetation close to the water's edge. The female will lay a clutch of about 6-8 eggs, which hatch after around 25 days. The chicks are precocial and can swim and feed themselves within hours of hatching.
Although Pink-eared Ducks are not in immediate danger of extinction, their habitat is under threat due to human activity, such as deforestation and agriculture. The conservation of wetlands and other aquatic habitats is necessary for the long-term survival of this unique species.