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Inspiring and Supporting Photographers of Australian Birds

Pink-eared Duck

Pink-eared Duck (Image ID 44249)
Photographed byJim Schultz on Sun 30th Aug, 2020 and uploaded on Mon 18th Jan, 2021 .
Resolution1800x891
Viewed276
ID44249
CommentImage specific (01.18.21BiL_BOZ8040 PsCT 1400X693):
Walking on the track alongside a secluded corner of Herdsman Lake, I chanced upon a little family of Pink-eared Ducks resting on a tiny island a few meters out in the water. This image is of one of the parent birds and one duckling, but more ducklings were hidden in the grass behind the parent bird. I tried my hand at hand-holding my camera with a Sigma lens for this capture.
GENERAL (+01.18.21FAP_BOZ8040):
Though vagrant in New Zealand, the Pink-eared Duck is an Australian endemic filter feeder with a large, spatular bill, adapted to feeding on plankton. It does, however also take insects, small crustaceans and molluscs. The highly specialised bill contains rows of lamellae, and features mandibular flaps for scooping up and straining tiny food items from water and mud, not unlike the manner in which baleen whales are filtering krill from water. A pair of pink-eared ducks may use head-to-tail vortexing when feeding, thus ensuring better food item concentration in the centre of the vortex. This duck species is a rather small one, highly nomadic and mostly rather shy. The sexes are difficult to tell apart, even when seen together. Australians would rather have this duck called the ‘Zebra Duck’, for its appearance. Herdsman Lake, Western Australia. Status (2016): Least Concern
EquipmentNikon D850
Lens: Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3DG OS HSM Contemporary
Technique: Handheld, standing on track at shoreline
Exposure Mode: MANUAL 1/500 sec at f6.3; ISO-1600. Metering Mode: Center-Weighted; Focus Mode: AF-C Low & AF Area Mode: Single. VR: On
Post Production:
Nikon ViewNX-i for viewing and selecting files; Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw/CC 2020 for conversion to Tif and resizing to 1400X693 pix followed by selective sharpening and general post-processing; Topaz Pro plug-in DeNoise was used for blanket sharpening and mild noise control. ‘Australian Bird Guide 2019’ for species distribution confirmation, supplementary data and colour checks
LocationHerdsman Lake, Western Australia
Keywordsjuvenile, adult
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