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Pink-eared Duck nest prospecting

This pink-eared duck means business! It’s not at all surprising to see the pink-eared ducks nest box prospecting after the recent heavy rains we received. In Australia, their nesting is predicated on heavy rain events which raise water levels. At Pinola, pink-eared duck nesting is almost always correlated following heavy and sustained rain events. In H.J. Frith’s incredible book, Waterfowl in Australia, he wrote extensively about the pink-eared duck’s dependency of heavy, rapid rainfall for effluent flooding, which spreads into the plains, creating extensive shallow water for ducklings to feed. If rising water is slow, the ducks will not initiate breeding behavior. It must be heavy and flood inducing. Even then, the ducks will not immediately nest, like grey teal would. Instead, they must wait for water to begin to decline in levels. This precision timing ensures not only a place to raise ducklings, but that the floodwater has enough time to be colonized by insects, which takes time to become established enough as a sustainable option for successful brood rearing and duckling feeding.

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