Paradise Shelduck

Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna variegata) is a native species found in New Zealand. As with other shelducks, this species is large and goose-like. Males and females are incredibly different in regard to their plumage. Male Paradise Shelducks are darker, with overall black plumage while females display snow-white heads and chestnut bodies. Males have a jet-black head that is followed by a dark brown neck and highly vermiculated black and gray sides. The female’s body plumage appears more patchy, with small spots of black and brown vermiculation, some of which are just found on the tips of the feathers.

Both sexes have highly contrasting wings. From the underside during flight, the majority of the wing is snow-white and the primaries and secondaries are black. On the top, the coverts are the same white, and the primaries are black. The speculum leading to the body contains iridescent green, blue, and orange.