Monday, November 16, 2009

Save the World Wednesday: Think Green Thursday:

The water engineer suggested we went for a walk when the rain died down. I was reluctant to go as it was blustery cold, and I wore my winter parka though it is spring. I was rewarded.

We saw a family of partially protected Paradise ducks in the One Tree Hill park. This is the first time I have seen these ducks. they graze the grass so you can't find them it Western Springs. It is important to protect them before they get extinct. New Zealand once had the Moa, the biggest birds in the world. But like the Dodo, they are gone.

Putangitangi, the paradise shelduck, is endemic to New Zealand, that is it is found nowhere else in the world. It was discovered first by Captain Cook at Dusky Sound in 1773 during his second voyage. Cook called it the Painted Duck. They were not a common bird before settlement by Europeans but are now one of the endemic birds which has prospered with the conversion of native forest to pasture. They have increased greatly in numbers through this century and are now only partially protected.

They are a large duck and are always seen in pairs except during the moulting season. The drake has a black head with a greenish gloss, the body being dark grey barred with black. The undertail and tertials are orange chestnut. The duck has a white head and the body is a bright orange chestnut.

Click on the photos to get a better picture. I couldn't get any nearer to the ducks as they kept moving. At one stage, the Dad acted as a decoy so the mum could move away with the babies. Smart dad.





redzlan said...

Nice pictures of Paradise Ducks family

flowerweaver said...

Very educational, and nice photos too! I hope the Paradise Ducks continue to flourish in NZ.

EG CameraGirl said...

So sad that animals are going extinct in New Zealand! Sounds like you aren't doing a whole lot better than Canada. (I hope I'm wrong about that.)