Territory Stories

Katherine Times Wed 24 Jan 2018



Katherine Times Wed 24 Jan 2018


Katherine Times; NewspaperNT






Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Katherine; Katherine (N.T.) -- Newspapers

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North Australian News for Katherine Times

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Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

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North Australian News for Katherine Times



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CONNECT TO COUNTRYLIFE Wednesday January 24, 2018KATHERINETIMES12 katherinetimes.com.au Whistle up a plumed duck HAVE you seen the small flock of ducks that have been hanging out behind the Lindsay Street market site recently? Theres a few Burdekin Ducks, they are the loud and bossy ones with brown backs and white heads. The other ducks are Plumed Whistle Ducks and they are really quite beautiful. Plumed Whistling Ducks are great communicators and make many different whistling noises. While resting in the tall savannah grasses of their home they whistle quietly to one another. When flying from place to place they whistle continuously, keeping in touch as they go. At the appearance of any sign of danger they give loud alarm calls, warning others in their flock to watch out. These unmistakable ducks have bright pink bills and feet, and long cream and black edged feathers decorate their cinnamon flanks. The male and female ducks are very similar to one another in colour but the males tend to be a bit larger and may have slightly longer plumes on their sides. Wandering Whistle Ducks are similar, still beautiful, but their feathers are not quite as showy. Plumed Whistling Ducks breed in the wet season and will probably mate for life. They share the incubation of 8-14 creamy coloured eggs which are laid in a shallow scrape on the ground in among tall reeds that the ducks line with grasses. The rivers and billabongs in our national parks and reserves are important breeding areas for these birds. As ground nesters the eggs are at high risk of predation from feral animals and we must take care not to allow our own pets to disturb them as they brood. These migratory birds will move from place to place at night finding pastures in good conditions to graze on. Many other ducks feed on water plants but Plumed Whistle Ducks love to feed on the short annual grasses that grow on the flood plains surrounding watercourses. Plumed Whistling Ducks are common and are found in many places around Australia and into NewGuinea. Interestingly, Plumed Whistle Ducks may have benefited from paddocks developed for cattle and sheep. These areas have grass for grazing and dams for drinking and swimming and as a result the Plumed Whistle Duck may have actually increased their breeding range in recent years to include South- East Australia. Keep your ears open at night and youmight be lucky enough to hear them as they fly to new feeding grounds. FUN CHAPS: Plumed Whistling Ducks are great communicators and, as you might expect, make many different whistling noises. Plumed whistling ducks. BY RANGER CLARE PEARCE Have you just celebrated an important milestone in your life? Do you have photos from a local event or even a great story youre bursting to tell? Its now easier than ever before to share your news with us online Simply go to the Send us your news tab on the homepage menu and then select the type of news you want to submit SEND US YOUR NEWS! katherinetimes.com.au Stay ahead with livestock news and information that matters from across the country. Find commercial and stud stock all in one place! livestockconnect.com.aulivestockconnect.com.au Make the connectionGet the edge with Livestock Connect