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Comb Duck | Sarkidiornis melanotos

The Comb Duck is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Anatidae bird family group which includes birds such as Ducks, Geese.

The description for the Comb Duck (Latin name Sarkidiornis melanotos) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Sarkidiornis melanotos can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 115 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 98. You will find a picture of the Comb Duck on page 97.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Knob-billed Duck in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Comb Duck between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Comb Duck is known in Afrikaans as Knobbeleend.

The Comb Duck has a height of 75 cms and weighs around 1920 gms. The head is coloured black, blue, white while the bill is coloured black. The Sarkidiornis melanotos has a white coloured throat, grey legs and a black coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is black, blue, white

Eyes are brown

Bill is black

Legs are grey

Throat is white

Back is black

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Comb Duck is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 8 to 11 eggs and they are coloured ivory.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.

The Comb Duck is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The Comb Duck is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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