Blue-billed Duck

Distribution and Habitat

Map showing the Australian distribution of the Blue-billed duck.

The Blue-billed Duck inhabits deep, permanent, well-vegetated swamps in south-east and south-west Australia. They are rarely found outside this range.

Status

The Blue-billed Duck is fully protected in all states and territories and must not be shot.

The Blue-billed Duck is fully protected in all states and territories and must not be shot.

Description

In flight, the Blue-billed Duck patters along the surface before take-off where it adopts a tail-heavy posture with very rapid wing beats and flies low to the water's surface. In flight, the species appears as a dark bird with no colour patches or contrasting plumage. There is no pattern on the wing. The Blue-billed Duck is seldom observed to fly.

On the water, the Blue-billed Duck swims swiftly and dives repeatedly. It appears as a small, dark duck floating very low with a heavy head, compact body and, occasionally, the stiff, erect tail is visible. The male has a brilliant blue-coloured bill during the breeding season (generally September to November).

The male is in the non-breeding (eclipse) plumage for most of the winter.

Voice

The Blue-billed Duck rarely makes any sound.

Images

Here are some images of the Blue-billed Duck.

Close up of Blue-billed duck wings and head showing markings male and female and male in non-breeding (eclipse) plumage.Diagrams of Blue-billed duck in profile male and female.

Video Footage

Video footage of the Blue-billed Duck is attached below.