Pink-eared Duck Video Transcript
Pink Ears are found over much of inland Australia and they're very nomadic in their movements. Like the Shovelers we've just been looking at, Pink-eared Ducks also have a large bill. The small pink feathers around the ear can only be seen when you're very close, but the chocolate brown eye patch and the contrasting white face can be seen a long way off.
Pink Ears have a zebra-striped chest, white belly and a white patch on the underwing. Notice the many white-tipped feathers under the wing. You'll also find white-tipped feathers on the tail and on the rump. On the brown upperwing, all feathers on the trailing edge are tipped with white. You can tell that these are Pink Ears by the white edges to the wings, the face markings and the heavy-looking bill. The head is usually held high and the bill angled downwards.
Pink Ears are easy to identify, even if you can't see the head. Look for the white-edged wings, the white tail tip or the white rump. The small pink-coloured ear patch is not easily seen. The large, spoon-shaped bill is the most obvious feature.
It's one of our smallest ducks. The other birds here are Shovelers. Pink Ears are birds of the inland swamps but they fly great distances in search of water. Huge flocks often reach the coast in dry years. They're a protected bird in some states.
On the water and in the air, a Pink Ear is easily recognised by its large bill. The pale face mark and white rump feathers also show up well in flight. The underwing feathers are pale but without a strong pattern.
Compare them with the few Grey Teal in this group. In good light, you can pick the Teal from the Pink Ears. Pink Ears don't have a central white bar on the upperwing. But when they get close, you can see a thin stripe of white feathers on the trailing edge of the wings. You need good light to pick out these wing stripes.
Pink Ears are not very fast ducks but they change direction quickly and often. Notice the white face mark and the head held high with the heavy bill tilted downwards. These are the main features of Pink Ears. You can see the zebra stripes when they are on the water.
Pink Ears seem to have more rounded wings than Teal and their chirruping call is unmistakable. In dry years, they leave the hot inland areas in huge flocks, moving around in search of water. And even if you can't see them, you'll hear them call. They breed in the shallow waters left by floods, but you'll often see them perching on branches or logs near the water.
Although Pink Ears are now legal game in most states, they have in the past been protected. Their status as a game species may change in different hunting localities, so make sure you know the latest game regulations.
Pink Ears should be easy to identify: the heavy bill, white face mark and white on the rump and along the trailing edge of the upperwing. The heavy bill is one of the most obvious features.A Pink Ear also carries its head higher than all other ducks. Notice again the white rump and the white tail tip.