Blue-billed Duck (species: Oxyura australis) in Murray Valley NP (Gaia Guide)
Oxyura australis
Blue-billed Duck

©Leo: Male Blue-billed Duck (Oxyura australis)

©James Bailey: Male

©Leo: Female Blue-billed Duck (Oxyura australis)
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Anseriformes
Family Anatidae
Genus Oxyura
Species Oxyura australis
Status near threatened



Distinguishing features

The male has a slate-blue bill which changes to bright-blue during the breeding season. The male has deep chestnut plumage during breeding season, reverting to a dark grey. The female retains black plumage with brown tips all year round. (Wikipedia)


  • Up to 40 cm (Length of specimen)


  • Wingspan data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

The Blue-billed Duck is almost entirely aquatic. While they have been observed on land, they have difficulty walking, exhibiting a penguin-like gait. During non-breeding season, many ducks gather in flocks totalling several hundred, especially juveniles and younger adults, in open lakes or dams in autumn and winter, far from the shore. For the rest of the year, during breeding season, the Blue-billed duck prefers deep, freshwater swamps, with dense vegetation. They have also occasionally been found in large rivers and saline water bodies such as billabongs. (Wikipedia)

Web resources


  • Simpson, K., N. Day and P. Trusler (2004). Field Guide to Birds of Australia: 7th Edition Penguin Group (Australia), Camberwell, Victoria.