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PINK-EARED DUCK (Thalassornis leuconotus)

©Nigel Key Pink-Eared Duck (Slimbridge September 2012)

The Pink-Eared Duck, also known as the Zebra duck, is the only living member of the Malacorhynchus genus and is endemic to Australia

The Pink-Eared Duck has a large spatula shaped bill similar to the Australian Shoveler which it uses to filter Plankton and Algae etc. for food.

Breeding of this duck is triggered by the amount of available organic material which is dependent upon the drying and filling of Pools. Should conditions not arise to produce the necessary food source then breeding will become limited or completely curtailed.

   Hear the Pink-Eared Duck's Call:-
Conservation Status

380mm to 400mm (15" to 16")

Appearance - Male
The male has a Brown back and crown, a small luminescent Pink patch behind the eye, Black and White barred flanks, breast and under-parts and a White face with dark Brown eye patches. The eyes are Brown with a White ring around them and a light Grey spatula shaped bill. The rump is White, the tail is dark Brown with a White tip and the wings are Brown with White edging on the secondary flight feathers. The legs and feet are light Grey.

Appearance - Female
The female is similar to the male.

Wetlands, Flood plains, Slow Moving Water, Lakes and Pools.

Plankton, Crustaceans, Molluscs and Insects.

Breeding Time
Varies dependent upon environmental conditions.

The nest is often built on nesting platforms which were previously created by other waterfowl such as Coots. The nest is lined with a rounded mass of down which is very thick and has a sticky consistency which prevents heat loss from the eggs very effectively.

Quantity: 6 to 8
Colour: Creamy White.

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Pink-Eared Duck (WWT Slimbridge September 2012) - pic by Nigel Key Pink-Eared Duck (WWT Slimbridge September 2012) - pic by Nigel Key
08/09/12 08/09/12
Photos copyright of ©Nigel Key
Click for larger image

Related Links:-

Australian Shoveler -

You can help to protect wetland habitats in the UK and around the World by becoming a member of the WWT, visit official WWT site for details.


Pink-Eared Duck
Breeding Habitat - Australia
Winter Habitat or Migration Area
Non Migratory but will fly as far as Coastal areas in search of water.

WWT Slimbridge Location - Pink-Eared Duck
Tropical House - WWT Slimbridge
© Nigel Key Tropical House (WWT Slimbridge May 2015)

The Pink-Eared Duck was found in the Tropical House, along with the following wildfowl:-
African Pygmy Goose
Brazilian Teal
Freckled Duck
Lesser Whistling Duck
Madagascar Teal
White-Backed Duck
Tropical House (WWT Slimbridge)

WWT Slimbridge Wildfowl (Listed Alphabetically)
A-B  | C-F  | G-L  | M-R  | S-Z
Wildfowl M to R
Maccoa Duck
Madagascar Teal
Magpie Goose
Magellan Goose
Marbled Teal
Muscovy Duck
Mute Swan
Northern Pintail
Northern Shoveler
Orinoco Goose
Pacific Black Duck
Patagonian Crested Duck
Philippine Duck
Pink-Eared Duck
Pink-Footed Goose
Plumed Whistling Duck
Puna Teal
Radjah Shelduck
Red-Billed Teal
Red-Breasted Goose
Red-Crowned Crane
Red-Crested Pochard
Red Shoveler
Ring-Necked Duck
Ringed Teal
Ross's Goose
Ruddy Duck
Ruddy-Headed Goose
Ruddy Shelduck