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A Rare Blue Duck for Red Greg

A Rare Blue Duck for Red Greg
Photo Information
Copyright: Janice Dunn (Janice) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-11-14
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Tamron 28-300 XR
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-08-04 1:21
Viewed: 6011
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Blue duck
Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos
Maori: Whio – "Fee-oh"

This is for my friend Greg – Red Greg – he really is a fan of ducks but pretends he doesn’t like them.

These Blue Ducks are quite rare; and I searched my old folders to find this very precious Blue Duck just for him. They are even more precious for being so highly endangered.

The blue duck is variously called the mountain duck, torrent duck or whistling duck and is not only unique to New Zealand but also unique among other waterfowl. It appears unrelated to any duck elsewhere in the world and many of its habits are peculiar to the species.

Rivers in the South Island and lower half of the North Island of New Zealand.

The blue duck is the only duck found up in the high country's turbulent streams. It is a strong swimmer and capable diver.

Males make a distinct whistling call (hence the Maori name 'whio') while females sound more like a rattle.

A fleshy edged bill is used for catching insects, grubs and caddis fly larvae around boulders in the rapids.

Mum is the one who looks after the four to eight eggs and chicks but Dad helps with the chicks.

Some facts about this particular duck that lives at the Auckland Zoo:
The blue duck is a threatened NZ species. Auckland Zoo is involved in a co-ordinated Department of Conservation breeding programme to provide young for release programmes.

In almost all ducks the male deserts the female and takes no part in raising the brood and may mate with a different duck each year but the male blue duck helps guard the ducklings and probably keeps the same mate.

Most ducks have an iridescent patch, the speculum, in the centre of each wing; the Blue Duck does not.

Like many of New Zealand’s endemic birds, they are not good flyers.

All these features suggest that the blue duck is a very ancient inhabitant of New Zealand.

It is a relatively small duck, about seventy per cent of the weight of a mallard duck.

Apart from the dark chestnut spots on the breast, the duck is entirely blue-grey. The bill is a soft pale flesh colour and tipped with a soft membranous flap. The eyes are bright yellow.


I took this photo 3 years ago, and have been saving it just for Greg :) :) :)

Seabird, Kaszek, uleko, red45, eqshannon, JoseMiguel, siggi has marked this note useful
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To Seabird: Blue-greyJanice 3 08-04 04:13
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-08-04 1:35]

Hello Janice, my neighbor. This is a very nice shot and nice dedication. When I look at this duck face, to me it appears it is thinking something serious. Good clarity and nice exposure.Ganesh

Hi, Janice,

an excellent portrait of a handsome duck!! I am sure your friend, Greg, will love it : )
I wonder why it is called blue duck?

Man Yee

Hi Janice!
Nice portrait of Blue duck. Very good POV.
Greg just now went to Botanic Garden to watch some ducks ;)

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-08-04 3:42]

Hello Janice,
Fine close-up of this Duck native to NZ and a threatened species. It seems to have a beak shaped like that of our Shoveller. Good focus on the yellow eye and beak and a very interesting note to go with it.
Many thanks and cheers, Ulla

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2008-08-04 6:42]

Hello Janice!

Thank you for this proud animal :-) It looks like ducks' elder :-) For sure this is duck respected in its neighbourhood! Almost gangsta duck :-) And wow! Pictures are like wine - older is better :-)

Stormy regards my dear friend!

Hello Janice

Cool close-up of this Fee-oh :)

Very nice for Grzegorz and Grzegorz yes it looks like "The Don" so to speak but I demure to my Italian friends...took this quite a while ago eh? Janice. Very nice close in of an indigenous creature. The classic lines of the bird caught well. Very fine.

Hi Janice,
This is good close portrait of the b. duck!
I like the way you filled the frame with it, letting us appreciate its plumage and beak structure.
Well done and thanks for share.
My best regards,

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-08-04 10:02]

Hello Janice,
Good detail, colours and sharpness. exposure and lighting are good. Good POV and composition.
Regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • Corvus (82)
  • [2008-08-04 14:00]

Hi Janice,
A really rear bird and capture its head in such detail - well done.

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