Length: 42-59 cm Very Common
Also known as the Maned Duck or Maned Goose.
This is so common as to become a bit of a nuisance at times with the droppings fouling the balls or the wheels of our trolleys. It can always be seen around the lake. I did hear that a neighbouring golf club had so much trouble with them that they were netted, transported and released a couple of hundred kilometres to the south. Evidently they returned home within a few days!
The male has a short black mane; the female has a paler head with paler stripes separated by the eye. The females are noisier than the males.
Interestingly for a duck, it nests in tree hollows. The books say that it lays 9 to 11 eggs, but I have frequently seen a pair with more ducklings – up to 16. Perhaps they find a fertility boost from the idyllic conditions we provide for them. Doubtless they fatten the fox as well.
Some members insist that they are geese rather than ducks and they certainly stand and walk like a small goose. Moreover, one of our lady members was “goosed” by one attaching itself to her posterior, in an aggressive mood in protecting its ducklings. However, all the books are emphatic that they are ducks.