Taxonomy

The blue duck is unlike any other duck. It is the only member of its genus and has no close relatives. It is an almost uniform slate blue-grey duck with a characteristic pale bill.

Morphology

Male and female blue ducks have a similar appearance with the following characteristics:

  • almost the entire plumage is slate blue-grey
  • the head is a little darker and crown and nape washed with brown
  • the breast is mottled with chestnut (reddish-brown) spots that are denser and more extensive in the male
  • the undertail coverts are also chestnut  
  • the secondaries are tipped with white, and inner secondaries and tertials have a thin, black outer margin  
  • the bill is pinkish-white with black tip and flaps of skin at the side towards the tip which assist its feeding technique  
  • legs and feet are dark grey with black at joints  
  • eyes yellow
Share this