Pink Eared Duck

Quick Facts

Length: 40 cm
Height: -
Weight: 375 grams
Colour: -
Habitat: Timbered areas near water. Prefers shallow, temporary waters
Food: Microscopic plants and animals
Predators: -
Status: Secure in all states and territories in Australia
Pink Eared Duck
Pink Eared Duck
Pink Eared Duck
Pink Eared Duck
Pink Eared Duck
Pink Eared Duck

The Pink-eared Duck is a small duck with a huge square-tipped grey bill and strongly barred brown flanks. It has a large brown eye patch on a white finely barred face. There is a small pink patch behind the eye. Upper parts are brown, underparts white barred dark brown. The upperwing is brown with a white trailing edge and the underwing linings are white, finely barred brown. In flight, there is a bold white crescent on the rump.

The Pink-eared Duck is not mistakeable for any other duck.

The Pink-eared Duck is found throughout Australia but only occasionally in Tasmania.

The Pink-eared Duck is found in timbered areas near water. It prefers shallow, temporary waters, however open wetlands support large flocks. It is a highly dispersive and nomadic species.

Pink-eared Ducks are birds of the inland swamps and will fly great distances in search of water. Huge flocks often reach the coast in dry years.

Pink-eared Ducks feed in shallow warmish waters. The highly specialised bill is fringed with fine lamellae (grooves) to filter out the microscopic plants and animals which make up the bulk of its diet.
Pink-eared Ducks often feed in head-to-tail pairs swimming in a circle, which concentrates small organisms in a rotating column of water.

Breeding can take place all year round and is dependant on floodwaters. The nest is a rounded mass of down placed in a hollow or on a stump above the water. Pink-eared Ducks usually take over nests built by other birds, especially the Eurasian Coot and the Black-tailed Native Hen. Pink-eared Ducks form monogamous, probably life-long pair-bonds. The female incubates the eggs, and both parents brood the young.

Author: Rosalyn Plunkett
Last Updated: Wednesday 8th January, 2014
BirdLife Australia -


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