Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pāpango or The New Zealand Scaup

The New Zealand scaup is a pretty little diving duck. They have glossy dark-brown plumage and it was interesting watching them dive. They swim about underwater to depths of 3 metres, feeding on aquatic plants, freshwater snails and other invertebrates. Unfortunately, I don't have photos of the ducks under water, too much glare off the water.Among the smallest New Zealand ducks, scaups are around 40 centimetres long. The male has yellow eyes and are darker. All my photos are of male scaups but here's a pair.Scaup numbers declined since European settlement, but have been fully protected since 1934. Their numbers have begun to recover in some regions. They are sparsely scattered across the North and South islands, the total population being about 20,000. Yeah! for conservation efforts. Otherwise, I wouldn't have had a chance to see these delightful birds around now.

No comments: