This brightly-colored South American relative of the Canvasback, Redhead, and Scaups is another widely kept zoo duck that thrives in captivity. In contrast to the purplish-black and gray-pinstriped male, the female is mostly brown and lacks a knob on its beak, which is black instead of red.
This magnificent bird was first bred in captivity, in Europe, more than 160 years ago, and his been highly prized in zoos and important private collections ever since. Found in southern South America and the Falkland Islands, it occurs in both fresh and salt water. Breeding pairs are devoted parents and carry their growing young on their back, almost sinking under their weight.
Not closely related to North American geese, this is an inhabitant of jungle rivers. Though it occupies a large range in northern South America, it is classified as Near Threatened. Despite a reputation for not tasting very good, it is still hunted, but deforestation is a greater threat since it nests in trees in the wild. It is found in only a few of the world’s zoos, but several have made a commitment to breeding it. During their noisy territorial defense displays, they assume such an upright position that it looks as if they might fall over backwards.