BLACK-HEADED DUCK Heteronetta atricapilla

Related to other stifftails, this monotypic genus is totally unique among ducks in that it is a nest parasite, utilising nests of at least eighteen species including some raptors! Breeding in Chile, Paraguay and Argentina, southernmost birds migrate as far as Bolivia and Brazil, northern breeders are sedentary. Found in pairs or small groups, it is shy in the wild and remains distant, as shown by the right-hand bird taken in Argentina. Although related, it does not have a stiff tail nor a swollen bill, and may be a result of convergent evolution rather than a close relative.

Click on the photo to return to "waders" or here for HOMEPAGE