Wood Duck (Maned Duck)

Distribution and habitat

Map showing the Australian distribution of the wood duck.

The Wood Duck is widely distributed and is common throughout Australia. However, it is rare and considered to be a vagrant in tropical Australia. The Wood Duck prefers lightly timbered country near water, be it swamps, dams, rivers or other waterways, where there is short grass or herbage beneath the trees. It is seldom found in dense or extensive swamps and avoids brackish or saline water.


The Wood Duck is available for recreational hunting in Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.


The Wood Duck is a medium-sized goose-like duck with long legs, extended neck, short head and is related to the pygmy-geese of tropical Australia.

In flight, the Wood Duck has slow wing beats, large white patches on the rear of the upperwing near the body and a white triangle on the upperwing near the body. The male has a black undertail and belly while the female has a white belly and eyestripes.

On the water or on land, the Wood Duck is a medium-sized, light-coloured duck with a dark head, a characteristic high-tailed posture on water and erect posture on land.


Drawn-out nasal mew. Shorter and higher pitched in the male than the female.


Here are some images of the Wood Duck.

Close up of Wood duck wings and head showing markings male and female.Diagrams of wood duck in profile male and female.

Video footage

Video footage of the Wood Duck is attached below.