Thursday, October 22, 2009

Umukia Raja, part 4 of 5 duck stamp series

Umukia Raja , or Raja Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) (in Australia also known as Burdekin Duck) is a species of shelduck. Both the male and female of the species are mostly white, with dark wingtips and a distinctive "collar" of dark feathers. Seen from above in flight, the birds have green bands on the tops of their wings. The female has a harsh rattle and the male has a breathy, sore-throat whistle. The diet consists mainly of molluscs, insects, sedge materials and algae.

The species inhabits the mangrove forests and coastline of New Guinea and Australia. In Australia, its primary range is coastal tropical northern Australia, from central Queensland through Northern Territory (including Kakadu National Park) to the Kimberley in Western Australia. The species prefers the brackish waters of mangrove flats and paperbark tree swamps, but will visit freshwater swamps, lagoons, and billabongs further inland during the wet season.

The Raja Shelduck is listed as a protected bird in all states of Australia and penalties exist for harming or disturbing them. Population estimated 35,000 – 1,100,000 numbers.

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