NEW ZEALAND SCAUP Aythya novaeseelandiae

Endemic to New Zealand, this scaup is increasing in numbers thanks to protection from hunting as long ago as 1934. Found in small groups on lakes and resevoirs, a high percentage of the population gathers at a site in North Island in winter. The total is thought to be between five and ten thousand, so it is not uncommon in its breeding areas, which cover large parts of both islands but not Stewart Island. A very dark bird, females are similar but more brownish and have a white blaze behind the bill, unfortunately I haven't photographed one.

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