Greenhead Australian Spotted Duck. Photo courtesy of Beau McLean at Duck Creek Farm (www.duckcreekfarm.com).

Australian Spotted Duck

Australian Spotted ducks are critically endangered and underappreciated, despite their beauty, friendliness, and adorable Call-like conformation. Less than 1000 birds exist, and there are only around 500 breeding birds.

Australian Spotted ducks are very friendly, one of the hardiest of duck breeds, adventurous, long-lived, and good foragers. They can also fly well. They are bantams, after all. All bantams can fly.

A Silverhead Australian Spotted drake.
A Silverhead Australian Spotted drake. Photo courtesy of Beau McLean at Duck Creek Farm.

They lay 50-125 medium-sized cream, blue, or green eggs a year. They are good broody ducks and mothers.

They may be bantams, but they’re actually not bad meat birds because they mature extremely quickly, becoming sexually mature around three to four weeks of age.

They’re small, weighing 2-2.2 lb (0.9-1 kg), although they’re slightly larger than many other bantam ducks.

Their conformation is much like Calls, with round heads and puffy cheeks.



There are three color varieties: the Bluehead, Greenhead, and Silverhead Australian Spotted, which refer to the color of the drake’s head. The original was the “Greenhead,” and the other two were later developed at Holderread’s Preservation Farm. (The featured image, at the top, is a female Greenhead.)

They are often used for exhibition or as pets.

 

History

In the 1920s, John C. Kriner and Stanley Mason of Pennsylvania (not Down Under; in fact, the Australian Spotted is one of the very few duck breeds developed in the United States) developed the Australian Spotted from Calls, Mallards, Northern Pintails, and an unknown breed of native Australian duck by letting their foundation stock breed freely for several generations before selecting ducks to breed. By 1928, the breed was appearing in exhibitions.

Many people think pintails are not part of this breed’s origin, because crossing pintails with mallard-derived duck breeds normally produces a mule. However, it is possible for a mutation of a mallard-pintail cross to be fertile, and thus it isn’t completely infeasible for the Australian Spotted to have Northern Pintail ancestors.

In addition, David Holderread, one of America’s top waterfowl breeders, has recognized various traits in the Australian Spotted reminiscent of the Northern Pintail.

GALLERY

Greenhead Australian Spotted drake.
A Greenhead Australian Spotted drake in a creek. Photo courtesy of Beau McLean at Duck Creek Farm.
Bluehead Australian Spotted Male
A Bluehead Australian Spotted male. Photo courtesy of Beau McLean at Duck Creek Farm.
Greenhead Australian Spotted female
A Greenhead Australian Spotted female. Photo courtesy of Beau McLean at Duck Creek Farm.
bluehead Australian Spotted female
The front center duck is a female Bluehead Australian Spotted. Photo courtesy of Beau McLean at Duck Creek Farm.
A Silverhead Australian Spotted female.
A Silverhead Australian Spotted female. Photo courtesy of Beau McLean at Duck Creek Farm.
A Silverhead Australian Spotted female.
A Silverhead Australian Spotted female. Photo courtesy of Beau McLean at Duck Creek Farm.
Australian Spotted and Miniature Appleyard ducklings in a box.
Australian Spotted and Miniature Appleyard ducklings in a box. Photo courtesy of Beau McLean at Duck Creek Farm.

6 thoughts on “Australian Spotted Duck”

  1. I luv luv luv the Australian Spotted. They remind me of our cheerful little mallards I had as a kid. We just bought 14 acres outside of Austin TX with a large spring fed pond. I would like more information on how to buy these lovely birds & am willing to wait as we need to build a coop to keep them safe at night. 210 774 7812

    1. Hi Angela,

      I’m sorry, I don’t know. I was going to refer you to Duck Creek Farms (which is where the pictures on my article are from), but it seems the link is broken. Hope you find some!

      Hannah

  2. . I have 4 adult Australian Spotted Ducks, 3 Females and 1 Male, 2 Bluehead Females, 1 Silverhead Female, and the male is a Bluehead. They’ve been mating a lot lately tho it is Autumn. However, if the females become broody, I’ll allow nature to run her course by letting the females set on their eggs if they wish to do so. This breed of duck is extremely hearty, more so than any other duck breed, but if it gets too cold for their potential young ones, I’ll bring them in. Or, if they begin laying eggs, I’ll candle the eggs and if fertile, I’ll incubate and hatch them myself. I can be reached at my email address, or at this number: 570-790-0939 ( be sure to leave your phone number with a message ),should anyone be interested in buying the young ones in the future. They can be shipped during the winter providing it’s not terribly cold and they are bought at no less than 4-6 ducklings. These ducks are very friendly, especially if you get them at a young age, I got mine at 6 hours old, ( I drove for them!! ) they imprinted on me, and as adults they are my best little buddies and are very vocal with me!! Let’s all try to bring their population numbers back up, and not let them go extinct. God Bless and Take Care To All of You!!!

    1. Hi Dave,

      I don’t really want to run sale advertisements on my site for free, but after some deliberation, I’ve decided that since you’re a small breeder, and this particular page currently only receives an average of 25 viewers per week (although the number is on the rise), I’ll run it for free for two months. If you would like to keep it up for longer, you can contact me via email and we can work something out.

      Sincerely,
      Hannah Miller

    2. For anyone interested, this seller’s email address is d17967a at gmail.com. Normally only administrators can view this information, but I’m assuming he wants it publicly known so prospective buyers can contact him.

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