Skip to content

Can You Pet a Australian Wood Duck

  • Pet Care

The Australian Wood Duck: Uniquely Beautiful, Wild Though Bondable

The Australian Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata) is a striking waterfowl species found in much of Australia and southern New Guinea, and is often referred to as the maned duck, for the distinctive frill of dark feathers along its neck. This species of duck has an impressively wide range, and is even found in some New Zealand regions and in various parts of Australia’s Northwestern Territory. The Australian Wood Duck is also prized for its unique ability to be tamed, so much so that many are often kept as pets.

Australian Wood Duck as a pet


The Australian Wood Duck is a medium-sized bird, typically weighing one and a half to two and a half pounds. Males are larger and more colorful than their female counterparts and have the trademark crest of darker feathers draping along their necks and chests. Color-wise, they are mostly a spectrum of browns, beiges and greys, with males being particularly striking due to the orange bill and black-and-white face.

Behaviour and Diet

Wild Australian Wood Ducks are foragers, typically found along the shallow waters of lakes, ponds, and marshes. During summer, much of their diet consists of aquatic plants and small invertebrate creatures such as insects, crustaceans, snails, and mollusks. During winter months, they feed on veggie waste from agricultural or residential areas, or grain from farmed lands.

As mentioned previously, this species has the unique ability to be tamed, which contributes to its popularity amongst bird enthusiasts. They can become very trusting of their human companions, even to the extent that they can reach out to be touched, with some even allowing themselves to be petted and held.

Breeding Season

Wild Australian Wood Ducks are monogamous, with long-term pair bonds that typically last for several years. They usually breed during the Australian winter months, from June to August, and lay a clutch of 10 to 12 eggs, but may even lay up to 25 eggs. Their nesting grounds are typically located in tree hollows, though they can also lay eggs in abandoned nests of other birds or in artificial nesting structures.

Can You Keep a Pet Australian Wood Duck?

Yes, it is possible to keep the Australian Wood Duck as a pet, however it’s important to consider that they require a large sum of attention and resources. They will require a large, safe enclosure, puddle with fresh, clean water and access to ample food sources. They typically like to roost and perch, so providing them with an elevated shelter will be important.

When kept in captivity, they typically build strong bonds with their keepers, especially if they’re taken care of from their duckling stage. It’s important to note, however, that petting and handling should be approached carefully and only when the bird is comfortable with a person. As with owning any animal, the Australian Wood Duck’s emotional needs should first be taken into consideration before any type of physical contact is made.


The Australian Wood Duck is an attractive and unique species, with a beautiful plumage that can be seen in many parts of Australia and surrounding regions. They’re a wild species, though they can be docile with prolonged taming and can even become quite trusting of their human companions. While they can be kept as a pet, they require a lot of attention and resources and are better suited in the wild.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *