Australian Ducks

Australians have a unique and diverse amount of ducks. All waterways will have resident and visiting species. Ducks may forage in the water or along the edge and some even away from the water. They often feed on algae, grasses and molluscs. Ducks may be in groups, pairs or singly. The wide range of native and introduced ducks, may also been sen in ornamental ponds, farm dams and lakes. the interaction between people and ducks means excessive feeding which often is detrimental. Ducks often breed and nest in trees, on top of chimneys, in reeds or under dense foliage/bushes. Families of ducks are often seen crossing roads or in yards. The birds may appeal to your kind emotions but need to learn how to survive in urban environments.

  • Blue billed Duck
  • Chestnut Teal
  • Freckled Duck
  • Grey Teal
  • Mountain Duck
  • Musk Duck
  • Pacific Black Duck
  • Pink-eared Duck
  • Plumed Whistling Duck
  • Spotted Whistling Duck
  • Wandering Whistling Duck
  • White – eyed Duck
  • White-eyed Duck

  • Non-native Ducks

  • Mallard
  • Indian Runner
  • Khaki Campbell
  • Muscovy


Commonly seen in Urban Areas

Australian Wood Duck (Melbourne, Victoria)

Australian Wood Duck (Enrichetta jubata)

Photo: Wood Duck's distribution and habitat map

This duck is widespread across Australia. The habitats are variable like  wet or water logged grasslands, open woodlands, wetlands, flooded pastures. It is common in and around residential dams, park lands and ope paddocks. Often seen in pairs or small flocks. During the breeding season often both parents can be seen crossing roads with all the ducklings in tow.

Australian Shelduck (Flinders Island, Tasmania)

Mountain Duck/ Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides)

Photo: Mountain Duck's distribution and habitat map

These beautiful ducks, found in a large amount of southern eastern Australia and western Australia. Distinctive colouration.  Common around farm dams, waterways and cropped wet pastures. Breeds July to December and will nest often in tree hollows, around 10 – 14 eggs.

Paciific Black Duck

Photo: Black Duck's distribution and habitat map

Pacific Black Duck

Pacific Black Duck ((Anas superciliosa)

Perhaps the most well know Australian duck. Found in many water ways. Forages in pairs, singly or in small groups. Distinctive white stripe across the eye.

Australian Wood Duck and ducklings in pool

Ducks and Swimming Pools

Ducks wander into properties during their breeding season. Often ducks hid e well incubate eggs in the foliage of a garden tree or bush. When these eggs hatch the ducklings and the mother often may end up  in the yard swimming pool. Where the pool is filled to the edge, they can get out. However where the pool level is low, then the ducklings may end up stranded.

  • Use a plank of wood or inflatable mattress. This allows the ducklings an escape mechanism.
  • Place a shallow dish of water to allow them drink.
  • Mother duck can be fed some shredded lettuce, grains, grains.
  • Ensure dogs or cats are3 housed indoors.
  • Do not try to capture or harass ducks.
  • If there are serious circumstances then you need to call a wildlife group.
  • The ducklings and mother/parents. Need to be relocated carefully only when absolutely necessary. Mother ducks can be frightened off, when too much or inexperienced rescuers interfere.
  • Ducklings and mother ducks, are vulnerable to dogs, foxes, cats, road traffic.
  • When the parents are ready the family of ducks will leave the yard from 1 – 5 days after eggs hatch and venture towards the nearest waterway.

Ducks & Ducklings Crossing Roads

If the ducks are  potentially causing a direct danger to either themselves or traffic on the roads the Police can be called to direct the traffic. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO physically  help ducks cross the road. People can cause accidents, be injured or even get the family of ducks injured or killed. Call for help. Surprisingly perhaps ducks often cross roads successfully.

Found on orphan duckling

Duckling often may be left behind, when they cannot keep up with family of ducks. Whether birds, cats, dogs or people may frighten a group into different directions. Mother ducks usually do not know how many ducklings are traveling and rely on the ducklings calls to locate missing individuals. Finding a duckling can be reunited with their family if you can find them. DO not take a duckling to the nearest waterway to release. This will ultimately cause its death, as other ducklings, water birds and predators will prey on it.

  • Call local rescue group to advise nearest bird shelter.
  • Keep duckling warm, sheltered.
  • Place in shallow water for 1 hr per day.
  • Feed grass, grains, shredded weat bix if necessary after 12hrs.
  • Follow advice of helplines.

Feeding Ducks

Australians like most people love their ducks! It is common for families, children and adults to share the joy of feeding ducks. However there are some notable things to be aware of. Feeding bread is a silly thing as ducks do not digest bread. It is essential to feed ducks more natural food.

  • Greens (suitable for Wood and Black Ducks)
    Grass, shredded or grated green vegetables, alfalfa, and milk thistle.
  • Grains
    Shredded oats, farex cereal, chicken crumble, egg and biscuit mix.
  • Protein
    Chopped boiled egg, good quality, puppy food, meal-worms, insectivore mix,