Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa)


French: Canard à sourcils German: Augenbrauenente Spanish: Ánade cejudo
Other common names: Grey Duck, Australian Black Duck

Anas superciliosa

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

New Zealand


Apparently closely related to A. luzonica, A. zonorhyncha and A. poecilorhyncha. Probable unstable hybrids of present species and A. platyrhynchos, found on some Micronesian islands, have been considered a different species, Mariana Duck (A. oustaleti). Hybridization with several species of Anas recorded in captivity, and with at least A. platyrhynchos (producing fertile progeny) in the wild; in New Zealand more than 25% of population may be hybrids. In survey of Lord Howe I in 2007, no pure individuals of present species were found, but A. platyrhynchos had supplanted native A. superciliosa and become dominant: 81% of ducks were platyrhynchos or platyrhynchos-like hybrids, 17% intermediate hybrids, and just 2% superciliosa-like hybrids#R. Several races described, including rogersi (Indonesian region, S New Guinea, Australia), pelewensis (N New Guinea and islands of SW Pacific), and, from Chuuk, rukensis (generally synonymized with pelewensis), leaving nominate superciliosa in New Zealand and on island groups of Chatham, Bounty, Antipodes, Snares, Auckland and Campbell; all poorly defined and considered barely, if at all, diagnosable#R. In view also of extensive hybridization, it seems unwise to persist in recognizing subspecies#R. Treated as monotypic.


Sumatra, Java, Bali, Kangean Is, Sulawesi, Moluccas, Lesser Sundas (E to Timor), New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago, Solomon Is, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand (including larger offshore islands), and SW Pacific Is (E to W French Polynesia).

Descriptive notes

47–61 cm; male 642–1400 g, female 560–1400 g; wingspan 82–93 cm. Distinctive boldly streaked face; body colour varies from brown to black; green... read more


Vocal repertoire generally very similar to that of A. platyrhynchos: male gives loud “... read more


Widespread in variety of wetlands, preferably small, well-vegetated, productive and of low salinity... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly vegetarian diet; seeds of aquatic and fringe vegetation (Carex); also dry plants, especially in winter. Animal matter,... read more


Starts Jun–Aug, with season continuing until Dec, sometimes Feb, in SE Australia and New Zealand; few data from elsewhere in range,... read more


Mostly sedentary, but dispersive movements, especially from Australian inland areas, frequent in... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widespread and abundant, at least in Australia and New Zealand, with an estimated population of between 500,000 and 1,000,000 birds... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa). 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 11 December 2019).