T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Duck (Paradise) Tadorna variegata

Kingdom:  Animalia
Class: Aves 
Order: Anseriformes 
Family: Anatidae 
Genus: Tadorna
Species: Tadorna
Scientific Name: Tadorna variegata
Common Names: Pari, paradise duck, Putangitangi, Paradise shelduck

Tadorna variegata is a large (63 cm., males 1700g., females 1400g) goose-like duck endemic to New Zealand. 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 have prospered with the conversion of native forest to pasture. They have increased greatly in numbers through this century and are now only partially protected.
This large duck has orange-chestnut undertail and tertials. Male has a black head with a greenish gloss and a body that is dark grey finely barred black. 
The female has a brilliant white head, a body that is bright orange-chestnut, obscured by darker fine barring in eclipse plumage. 
Juveniles are like a male, but immature females develop white patches around eyes and at the base of bill. They are always seen in pairs except during the moulting season (Dec-March) when can be seen in large flocks.
In-flight prominent white patches on upper wings can be seen. They often call; male a deep 'zonk-zonk ', female a shrill 'Zeek, Zeek’. 
Habitat: Farmland, lakes, ponds and high-country riverbeds. Paradise Shelducks form long-term pair bonds, often lasting for life, and defend territories. They have a long breeding season which is from August through December. They reach sexual maturity after two years and build nests lined with grass and feathers hidden in high grass, hollow trees or beneath rotting logs.

This information is thanks to http://www.whatbird.co.nz

Call of the paradise duck


A photo of a male showing more white body feathers.

A female with the distinctive white head.

A female with darker body feathers.

A male and female

Ducklings November


Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information     https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/