Observations of a Musk Duck

To: <>
Subject: Observations of a Musk Duck
From: "Chris Loorham" <>
Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2015 15:46:54 +1100
While fishing on the lower reaches of the Fitzroy River in South West
Victoria on 2 January about 8pm. I noticed a Musk Duck swimming about 15m
away near the reeds on the bank. I have always been fascinated by this duck
and its peculiar wattles. I watched as it was making simultaneous splashes
to each side of its body. Immediately following each splash I heard a long
sharp very strong whistle.  

The splashes and the whistles were so well coordinated that I concluded that
they originated from the same source. I timed the break between each whistle
and splash to be constantly about 10 seconds. The splash being made by each
leg simultaneously on each side of its body, the tail feathers would then
become erect followed by a long whistle.

The duck appeared to have its own water dance combining rhythmic body
movement and song. Each splash and whistle separated by the same timing and
body movement. I know the Musk Duck has mythological significance to the
Aboriginal people of Gippsland.  

Have other people also observed the water dance of the Musk Duck?     

Chris Loorham
Planning Consultant & Mediator 

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