Paradise Shelduck flying inverted (off topic)

To: Con Boekel <>, Canberra Birds <>
Subject: Paradise Shelduck flying inverted (off topic)
From: "calyptorhynchus ." <>
Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2017 01:54:31 +0000
I have seen it in Common Teal (in the UK), but not in any Australian sp, it is not uncommon when a flocks is descending for some birds to tumble and the odd one to turn upside down. Possible explanations:
1. They hit turbulence and it's easier to tumble and turn upside down than to maintain a controlled descent.
2. Predator confusion strategy, and in the absence of predators they sometimes practise.
3. It's fun!

My all time amusing bird-watching experience was at Minsmere in the 80s; it was morning and below freezing. The main scrape was frozen over, but the ice had begun to break up and some sheets were partly submerged. A flock of about 30 Teal were circling and came in to land, the first bird touched down on what it thought was water, but hit the ice just underneath, it started to tumble head over heels and skidded some 20 meters until it fell off the ice into open water. It submerged then reappeared, shaking its head and trying to pretend nothing had happened. The rest of the flock had sheared off but after circling a couple more times landed in the open water where the first duck was now swimming.

Everyone in the hide burst out laughing.

John Leonard

On 16 April 2017 at 09:12, Con Boekel <> wrote:
We recently visited NZ for a family wedding and were privileged to get some good views of Paradise Shelduck.  Several of you got views of the male (vagrant?) on the coast down near Nowra recently. They have beautiful detail in the plumage. The attached image, which is of poor quality, shows something I have yet to see in any other duck. There are three birds. The bird in front is a female. The two behind her are males. The three had been engaged in a very, very rapid descent towards a large flock gathered in a dairy farm paddock. The female is upside down. Did she lose control? Was it deliberate?



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John Leonard

I want to be with the 9,999 other things.
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