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Eastern Spot-billed Duck, Chinese spot-billed Duck, Anas zonorhyncha

The Eastern Eastern Spot-billed Duck or Chinese spot-billed Duck (Anas zonorhyncha) is a species of dabbling duck that breeds in East and Southeast Asia. It was formerly treated as a subspecies of the Indian spot-billed duck (A. poecilorhyncha). The name is derived from the yellow spot on the bill.

The eastern spot-billed duck is migratory, wintering in Southeast Asia. It is quite gregarious outside the breeding season and forms small flocks. The populations in Japan and the Russian Far East have expanded their range northwards by more than 500 km since the early 20th century, possibly in reaction to global warming.

It is a bird of freshwater lakes and marshes in fairly open country and feeds by dabbling for plant food mainly in the evening or at night. The breeding season varies with rainfall and water condition but normally between April and July.

It nests on the ground in vegetation near water. The clutch is usually 7-9 eggs. Incubation begins after the last egg is laid (allowing the chicks to hatch simultaneously) and the young hatch after about 24 days. The chicks are black with a yellow back and resemble those of mallards but with a wider eyestripe.

Both the male and female have calls similar to the mallard.

Eastern Spot-billed Duck, Chinese spot-billed Duck, Anas zonorhyncha

Range map
Range map from - Ornithological Portal is one of those MUST visit pages if you're in to bird watching. You can find just about everything there

The Eastern spot-billed duck was described by the English biologist Robert Swinhoe in 1866 under its current binomial name Anas zonorhyncha. The name of the genus Anas is the Latin word for a duck. The specific epithet zonorhyncha is derived from the classical Greek words zōnē meaning "band" or "girdle" and rhunkhos meaning "bill".

Historically, the eastern spot-billed duck was usually considered as a subspecies of the Indian spot-billed duck (A. poecilorhyncha). The American ornithologist Bradley Livezey in a morphological study of the dabbling ducks published in 1991 proposed that the eastern spot-billed duck should be promoted to species status.

Subsequently, fieldwork conducted at Hong Kong in southern China found that although both the eastern spot-billed duck and the Indian spot-billed duck (subspecies A. poecilorhyncha haringtoni) bred in the region at the same time, mixed pairs were only very rarely observed.

Base on this observation, the American Ornithologists' Union recognised the eastern spot-billed duck as a separate species in 2008. Most taxonomists now treat the eastern spot-billed duck as a separate species.
There is also some degree of hybridization with the mallard in the wild in eastern Russia with a tendency for a greater ratio of male eastern spot-billed ducks to mate with female mallards than the other way round.

This duck is around the same size as a mallard and has a scaly patterned body with a blue speculum. At rest the long neck and the bill with the yellow tip are distinctive. It measures 55–63 cm in length and 83–95 cm across the wings, with a body mass of 790–1,500 g.

These are mainly grey ducks with a paler head and neck and a black bill tipped bright yellow. The wings are whitish with black flight feathers below, and from above show a white-bordered green.

The male does not have an eclipse plumage.

Eclipse Plumage

Many ducks have bright, colourful plumage, exhibiting strong sexual dimorphism. However, they moult into a dull plumage after breeding in mid-summer. This drab, female-like appearance is called eclipse plumage. When they shed feathers to go into eclipse, the ducks become flightless for a short period of time.

Some duck species remain in eclipse for one to three months in the late summer and early fall, while others retain the cryptic plumage until the next spring when they undergo another moult to return to their breeding plumage.

Although mainly found in the Anatidae, a few other species, including related red junglefowl, most fairywrens and some sunbirds also have an eclipse plumage. In the superb and splendid fairywrens, very old males (over about four years) may moult from one nuptial plumage to another whereas in the red-backed and white-winged fairywrens, males do not acquire nuptial plumage until four years of age – well after they become sexually mature and indeed longer than the vast majority of individuals live.

In contrast to the ducks, males of hummingbirds and most lek-mating passerines – like the Guianan cock-of-the-rock or birds of paradise – retain their exuberant plumage and sexual dimorphism at all times, moulting as ordinary birds do once annually.

Juveniles are browner and duller than adults. The legs and feet are bright orange.

The eastern spot-billed duck is darker and browner than the Indian spot-billed duck; its body plumage is more similar to the Pacific black duck. It lacks the red bill spot, and has a blue speculum.

Both males and females undergo a complete postnuptial moult, dropping all their wing feathers simultaneously.

Length: 55-63 cm
Wingspan: 83 - 95 cm
Weight: 790 - 1500 g
Longevity: -
Distinctive Feature
Similar Species
• Indian Spot-billed Duck have red spots at the base of its bill conspicuous in males. These spots are absent in the Eastern Spot-billed.

They also have all white tertials, a green (not blue) speculum and lack the dark gape line.

Pacific Black Duck is similar to Eastern Spot-billed but lacks the yellow tip to its bill. Mallard females and eclipse males have a less contrasting face pattern and their bill is either all yellow (males) or orange with gray smudging (females)

From opus at the forum for wild birds and birding.

Listen to the Eastern spot-billed duck

Conservation status
Eastern Spot-billed Duck, Chinese spot-billed Duck, Anas zonorhyncha
Least ConcernThe IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T22736042A95123703.
doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22736042A95123703.en. Retrieved 10 November 2017.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sighted: (Date of first photo that I could use) 5 April 2019
Location: Yatsu Tidal Flat

Eastern Spot-billed Duck, Chinese spot-billed Duck, Anas zonorhyncha
Eastern Spot-billed Duck - Kasai Rinkai Park - 5 April 2019

Eastern Spot-billed Duck, Chinese spot-billed Duck, Anas zonorhyncha
Eastern Spot-billed Duck - Kasai Rinkai Park - 5 April 2019

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