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The African black duck

7 November 2013

 

www.leopard.tvThe African black duck Anas sparsa was first described scientifically by Eyton in 1838. The name sparsa either indicates its scattered distribution or the scattered white spots on the back. It is a medium-sized duck with the males being some 58 cm tall and weighing 1.09 kg, as opposed to 51 cm and 0.91 kg in the females. The most characteristic feature is the white markings on the back, wings and tail. The upper parts are brownish black with a paler breast and flanks. The tail is crossed by two rows of white spots, the pattern of which is individually unique. The bill is slate-grey black but the lower mandible is pink at its base. The eyes are brown and the legs and feet are yellow-orange. 

African black ducks occur endemically in Africa south of the Sahara Desert. In South Africa they are common below... (Become a subscriber for more)

Reference:

Hockey, P A R, W R J Dean & P G Ryan 2005. Roberts – Birds of southern Africa, seventh edition. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, pp. 103 – 105.

article by Prof J du P Bothma

 

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