16 He aha tērā? What is that?

Look closer and you’ll see this isn’t a regular duck on the Reay Mackay Grove lakes. This colourful bird has a dark head and large dark bill, with a splash of white between the two. The body’s an almost luminous brown. They seem to hang out in groups. He aha tērā? What is that?

Colourful duck-like birds on a lake.
Photo by Miraz Jordan. Used with permission.

Scroll down to see the answer.

Answer: it’s a kuruwhengi, Australasian shoveler:

Identification: Length: 46 – 53 cm; Weight: 570 – 850 g (male); 545 – 745 g (female)

Similar species: Northern shoveler

A medium-sized dabbling duck with a large black spoon-shaped bill, yellow eyes and orange legs. Breeding plumage males have a blue-grey head and neck with a white crescent at the base of the bill, mottled brown and white breast, chestnut flanks, and a white patch at the tail base; females are mottled light brown with a dull brown bill and eyes, and brown-orange legs.

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