Story: Wetland birds

Whio bill

Whio bill

The upper bill of a whio (blue duck) has a semi-circular soft flap that helps protect the harder part of the bill from abrasion as the bird pries larvae from rocks in the river. The tiny comb-like structures (lamellae) around the edge of the beak allow the whio to strain small animals, insects and plants out of the water.

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Reference: 28118BB00
Photograph by Rob Suisted

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How to cite this page:

Christina Troup, 'Wetland birds - Whio – blue ducks', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 June 2024)

Story by Christina Troup, published 24 Sep 2007, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015