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Birds of the Water Wood & Waste

The Brown Duck

page 14

The Brown Duck.

Knowing the extraordinarily furtive habits of the Brown Duck I am not prepared to state that it is altogether and absolutely gone from Tutira. Representatives of the breed have, however, not been seen by me for years; more ominous still, footmarks may in vain be looked for in the drying mud of creeks and along the margins of summer-shrunken water-holes. No other duck has been so adversely affected by the increase on a great scale of cattle. These iniquitous beasts, now a necessary evil on every sheep run, trample in the banks of the slow flowing shallow watercourses peculiarly the haunts of the Brown Duck, their great marauding mouths break away the friendly shade of sedges, shrubs, and grass, they tread down the Raupo beds growing tall and green from their moist beds of sud and mud. Cattle on Tutira have been fatal to the Brown Duck.