HARDHEAD Aythya australis

Basically an Australian endemic, although vagrancy has resulted in populations elsewhere from time to time. It is currently extinct in New Zealand, but breeds in Vanuatu. It also occurs in Indonesia and New Caledonia, but currently there are no breeding records. It is found throughout most of Australia in small groups (and occasionally larger flocks), the core area is the South-east, where most photos were taken. Although basically resident drought conditions cause irruptions into new areas, sometimes quite distant, and this results in temporary populations elsewhere, they are found in Tasmania but not currently breeding. Overall numbers fluctuate but there is no serious decline.

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