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Duck: Knob-billed duck

Sarkidiornis m.melanotos
Bird

IUCN Status
The “Old world” knob billed duck is widespread and abundant in Africa although on decline in Asia and is not considered to be under any threat.



Diet

An omnivore like most ducks they graze or “dabble” on aquatic vegetation but they can eat seeds, invertebrates and small fish as well.

Habitat

This duck is a resident of the freshwater lakes and swamps of the “Old World” – Africa & Asia in and around the tropics.

Behaviour

Except when breeding these birds flock together in numbers of 30 or more. During breeding the drakes are territorial and often command more than one nest creating a harem.

Breeding

Drakes can have up to 2 mates at once or even 5 or more hens in succession! They nest in tree holes or long grass clutching up to 7-15 eggs.

Fun Facts

There are 2 species of “comb” or “knob” billed duck either “Old world” like ours or South American which are a little smaller and less black!

Where a dominant drake occurs a “dump” nest with up to 50 or more eggs can often be found!

They get there name from a large fleshy knob like growth on top of their beak which enlarges during the breeding season.

At The Zoo

We have a trio of Old world knob billed ducks in our larger crane aviaries and usually late every summer we successfully hatch some ducklings.