Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus)


French: Malacorhynque à oreilles roses German: Rosenohrente Spanish: Pato pachón

Anas membranacea


, 1801,

New South Wales, Australia


Sometimes placed in tribe Tadornini. Monotypic.


Australia: main centres of population in SW & SE.

Descriptive notes

36–45 cm; male 290–480 g, female 272–423 g; wingspan 57–71 cm. Unmistakable. Sexes basically alike, with grey forehead and crown, white face with... read more


Vocalizations usually described as chirruping or twittering, especially when referring to flocks in... read more


An ecological specialist, exploiting temporary ponds and lakes of shallow saline or brackish waters... read more

Food and feeding

Planktonic organisms (algae, microscopic seeds, crustaceans, molluscs, insects, etc.). Feeds mostly on surface by water and mud filtering... read more


Season variable, much dependent on water levels, but in SE Australia breeds mainly in Aug–Feb, following winter rains, with records... read more


Somewhat dispersive and nomadic; can be seen almost anywhere in Australia, and even in Tasmania,... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widespread and locally abundant. Total population probably several hundred thousand, occasionally > 1,000,000 individuals, but... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus). 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 19 November 2019).