The distinctive looking Freckled Duck (Stictonetta naevosa) is a waterfowl endemic to Australia. The adult bird have dark grey to black plumage, covered with small white flecks, giving the duck the ‘freckled’ look. The feet, legs and bill of both sexes is slate grey in colour.

The hatchlings and young differ with a light grey plumage. Approximately 32 weeks later they have a full body moult, assuming the adult plumage.

Freckled Duck (Stictonetta naevosa)
Freckled Duck (Stictonetta naevosa), Sewasge Ponds, Alice Springs, NT

The male birds are slightly larger then the female. During the breeding season, the male of the species are characterised by the base of their culmen (the upper ridge of a bird’s bill) taking on various shades of red. The males in prime reproductive condition take on a deep red colour, while other males may develop lighter shades of red, or in some instances, no colouring at all. Deep red colouring of the culmen is associated with dominance, and those with the deepest red culmen are those likely to breed with the females of the group.

Common name
Monkey Duck, Oatmeal Duck.

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Anseriformes
  • Family: Anatidae
  • Subfamily: Stictonettinae
  • Genus: Stictonetta
  • Species: Stictonetta naevosa

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