Also known as the Radjah Shelduck, Burdekin ducks are found in coastal northern Australia. They mainly keep to brackish waters, mud banks and mangrove-fringed mouths of tropical rivers. During the wet season they also visit inland freshwater swamps and lagoons. They begin to feed from late afternoon, and their diet includes molluscs, insects, algae and sedges. Eggs are laid in a nest that consists only of some self-supplied down feathers.
Man of the house
Burdekin duck breeding pairs share a strong bond, and are thought to mate for life. Pairs select a suitable nest near water, such as a shallow hollow in a tree trunk. If an intruder enters the pair's nesting territory, the male will charge, stretching out his neck and erecting his feathers to deter the unwanted visitor.
Relaxing by the water's edge
Although Burdekin ducks are strong, capable swimmers, they spend most of their time wading at the water's edge, or resting on mud banks.
Burdekin ducks search for food at the edge of the water by walking briskly, swinging their bill from side to side in the mud, sieving for food items such as molluscs and large insects. Alternatively, they may stamp their feet in the mud, forcing worms to surface.