Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

New Zealand Scaup (Aythya novaeseelandiae)


French: Fuligule de Nouvelle-Zélande German: Maoriente Spanish: Porrón maorí

Anas novae Seelandiae

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

New Zealand = Dusky Sound, South Island, New Zealand


Generally considered to be closest to A. collaris and A. fuligula. Hybridization with A. ferina and A. nyroca recorded in captivity. Population of North I has occasionally been separated as race maui. Monotypic.


New Zealand: fragmented range on North I, but more widespread throughout W South I.

Descriptive notes

40–46 cm; male 630–760 g, female 530–700 g; wingspan c. 60 cm. Only male Aythya that is dark overall with yellow eye; no eclipse plumage;... read more


Considered to be generally quiet, with most vocalizations associated with displays: male gives soft... read more


Fairly deep, large, freshwater lakes and shallow, coastal lagoons, from sea level to c. 1000 m on... read more

Food and feeding

Apparently mixed diet of aquatic invertebrates, including gastropods and insects (e.g. dragonflies, damselflies, water boatmen and... read more


Lays mainly Oct/Nov, rarely earlier, and season can extend until Feb; ducklings mainly observed Dec–Jan. In single pairs or loose... read more


Mostly sedentary, with only small-scale movements recorded; winter congregations suggest local... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Still widespread, though severely reduced during first decades of present century through hunting, which to some extent remains a... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). New Zealand Scaup (Aythya novaeseelandiae). 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 7 December 2019).