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This little guy with the cheeky smile is a hybrid duck. He/she comes from the Mallard, an introduced duck, interbreeding with the common Pacific Black. They are both Dappling Ducks that take insects, seeds and floating vegetation from on or just below the surface.
There are a few of these ducks at Warriewood Wetlands in Sydney‘s northern suburbs. In a bustling peninsula the area is 26 hectares of protected zone for native wildlife, the last remaining sand plain wetland in Sydney. Mostly it seems to be a habitat for birds though there are the usual small reptiles and frogs like the common Blue Tongue Lizard. This duck appears to be a cross between a duck and a mallard … I’m guessing a Pacific Black Duck and a Northern Mallard. It is not unusual for these types to interbreed. They both fall into the category of dabbling duck, or dipping ducks. They takes insects, seeds and floating vegetation from on or just below the surface. The orange legs denote her as female.
Acknowledgement: The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds, 2 ed.