The paradise shelduck is New Zealand’s only shelduck, a worldwide group of large, often semi-terrestrial waterfowl that have goose-like features. Unusually for ducks, the female paradise shelduck is more eye-catching than the male; females have a pure white head and chestnut-coloured body, while males have a dark grey body and black head.
Paradise shelducks are commonly observed flying in pairs or grazing on pasture. They are very vocal birds, with males giving a characteristic ‘zonk zonk’, while females make a more shrill ‘zeek zeek’ while flying or as a warning to intruders.
Paradise ducks spend large amounts of time feeding on pastures, and ducklings are covered in brown and white down when they are born. Find out more interesting facts.
Learn about threats to paradise duck/pūtakitaki/pūtangitangi
Learn about DOC's work with paradise duck/pūtakitaki/pūtangitangi
Find out what you can do for paradise duck/pūtakitaki/pūtangitangi.
Listen to or download a recording of paradise duck/pūtakitaki/pūtangitangi song.
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