Blue-billed Duck advice

To: <>
Subject: Blue-billed Duck advice
From: "Bob Cook" <>
Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2008 20:25:28 +1000
Can anyone advise me whether Blue-billed Ducks show a lot of white under the
tail when it is erect?  Especially female/non-breeding, juvenile.  I saw
four at Werribee WWTP this afternoon all showing distinctive white area
under the tail and all holding tails erect and fanned (guides indicate this
may be when alarmed!)  Outer tail feathertips were all quite black. They
were very wary, diving as soon as they knew I was looking at them - even
from about 50 metres away in the car.  I saw a few breeding-plumaged males
elsewhere, but these four were alone on one pond.  At least one seemed to
have bolder markings overall than the others, but none had black head, blue
bill or brown back - they were all fairly dull grey/brown with smoothish
grey head.  I could not get close and only got poor quality pics as it was a
dull, grey afternoon.  I cannot see how these could be anything else at this
size and with such erect, spiny tails.  (Size comparison was easy against
adjacent grebes).


Good day at Werribee - 58 species - 100's of Musk Ducks, several Brolgas,
largish group of Common Sandpipers, Striated Fieldwrens at two spots, close
encounter with Horsfield's Bronze-cuckoo and very close encounter with
juvenile Black-shouldered Kite hunkering down on a lump of dry grass at the
edge of the track.


Bob Cook



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