Wednesday 22 May
Spectacled duck (Speculanas specularis)
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Spectacled duck fact file
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Spectacled duck description
With its highly distinctive head and neck pattern, the spectacled duck is unmistakeable (3). From the neck up, this medium-sized dabbling duck is dark brown, except for conspicuous patches of pure white in front of the eye and extending from the throat around the neck (2) (3) (4). The upperparts of the body are generally dark chocolate brown, with light brown scalloping along the back, while underneath it is paler grey to light brown (2). An iridescent patch of purplish-bronze, known as the speculum, on each of the mainly black wings, gives rise to this species alternative common name (2) (3) (4). The sexes are similar in appearance, although the female is slightly duller, and the juveniles usually lack the distinctive white facial markings (3) (4).
- Also known as
- Bronze-winged duck.
- Anas specularis.
- Length: 46-54 cm (2)
- The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust:
- BirdLife International:
- The act of incubating eggs, that is, keeping them warm so that development is possible.
- IUCN Red List (May, 2009)
- BirdLife International (May, 2009)
- Ogilvie, M. and Young, S. (1998) Photographic handbook of the wildfowl of the world. New Holland Publishers, London.
- Blake, E.R. (1977) Manual of Neotropical Birds. Volume I: Spheniscidae (Penguins) to Laridae (Gulls and Allies). University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
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Spectacled duck biology
This generally retiring species is typically found in pairs or small groups. It feeds on the seeds, leaves and stems of aquatic plants, but will also take some aquatic invertebrates, and feed on leaf litter in forests away from water. Breeding takes place form September to October, with egg-laying reaching a peak between October and November. The incubation period in captivity has been recorded to be around 30 days (2).Top
Spectacled duck rangeTop
Spectacled duck habitatTop
Spectacled duck status
Classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Spectacled duck threats
Although the spectacled duck population is estimated at fewer than 10,000 individuals, there are no major threats to this species, and its numbers appear to be stable. There is however some concern that various factors, including predation by introduced American mink, increased tourism pressure, and salmon farming and trout stocking on Chilean rivers, could impact negatively on the spectacled duck population (2).Top
Spectacled duck conservation
At present there are no known conservation measures for the spectacled duck but significant populations of this species occur within several protected areas in both Chile and Argentina. Furthermore proposals have been made for further research into the potential threats this species faces from predation, tourism and fish farming (2).Top
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