Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Near Threatened

Blue-billed Duck (Oxyura australis)


French: Érismature australe German: Schwarzkinn-Ruderente Spanish: Malvasía australiana
Other common names: Australian Blue-billed Duck

Oxyura Australis


, 1837,

#R Swan River, Western Australia


Considered by some to be closely related to O. vittata. Monotypic.


Breeds in SW & SE Australia and Tasmania. In winter expands to NW, C & E Australia.

Descriptive notes

35–44 cm; male 610–965 g, female 476–1300 g; wingspan 60 cm. In Australia, only likely to be confused with substantially larger and darker Biziura... read more


Vocalizations rarely heard in field, although male produces several non-vocal sounds during... read more


Shallow freshwater marshes, swamps and lakes with extensive bordering reedbeds and other dense... read more

Food and feeding

Seeds and vegetative parts of aquatic plants and aquatic insects and their larvae (e.g. chironomids, caddisflies, dragonflies and water... read more


Season variable; continuous, opportunistic breeding probably normal, although mainly during austral spring and summer. Mating system... read more


Somewhat dispersive and partially migratory, as breeding grounds generally abandoned after breeding... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened and threatened at state level in both Victoria and New South Wales. Widespread and rather uncommon, though... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Blue-billed Duck (Oxyura australis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 22 November 2019).