COMMONLY HUNTED DUCKS & GAME BIRDS IN AUSTRALIA

There are several duck and game bird species that are commonly hunted around Australia. Hunters have been enjoying hunting ducks and game birds for generations and will often use gundogs to retrieve or flush their quarry, which they then take home for dinner.

There are so many opportunities to legally hunt ducks and game birds (both native and introduced) across the country, however you do have to pay particular attention to the laws and regulations around duck and game bird hunting. In particular, you may need a specific licence and may have to undergo a Waterfowl Identification Test before you are allowed to legally hunt.

You also need to pay particular attention in your state or territory as to the open and closed season as well as game and non-game species and bag limits.

Here are some links to help you navigate the various state and territory rules and regulations around duck and game bird hunting:

Victoria https://www.gma.vic.gov.au/hunting

Tasmania https://nre.tas.gov.au/wildlife-management/management-of-wildlife/game-management/game-hunting-requirements

New South Wales https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/hunting

South Australia https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/licences-and-permits/wildlife-permits/permit-types/hunting

Northern Territory https://nt.gov.au/leisure/hunting-and-shooting/safety-and-rules/about-hunting-and-shooting

 

Duck and game bird hunting may not be allowed in all states and territories so please make sure you contact the relevant authorities in your own state or territory.

Below, we have listed some of the most commonly hunted game ducks and birds in Australia with as much information about their sizes as we could find online and the states and territories they are more commonly hunted in.

Australian Game Duck Species

Blue-winged Shoveler (Anas rhynchotis)

Blue winged Shoveler Anas rhynchotis M

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 45-53
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 0.570-0.582
Legal Game: NSW,VIC, SA

Blue winged Shoveler Anas rhynchotis F

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm): 46-49
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 0.545-0.745
Legal Game: NSW, VIC, SA

Grey Teal (Anas gracilis)

Grey Teal Anas gracilis

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 40.5-47.5
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 0.395-0.670
Legal Game: NSW, NT, SA, TAS, VIC

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm): 37-44
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 0.350-0.602
Legal Game: NSW, NT, SA, TAS, VIC

Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea)

Chestnut Teal Anas castanea M

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 41-48
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 0.562-0.775
Legal Game: NSW, SA, TAS, VIC

Chestnut Teal Anas castanea F

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm): 38-46
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 0.562-0.816
Legal Game: NSW, SA, TAS, VIC

Hardhead (Aythya australis)

Hardhead Aythya australis M

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 42-54.5
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 0.900
Legal Game: NSW, NT, SA, VIC

Hardhead Aythya australis F

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm): 41.5-49
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 0.840
Legal Game: NSW, NT, SA, VIC

Mountain Duck (Tadorna tadornoides)

Mountain Duck Tadorna tadornoides M

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 59-72
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 1.3-1.6
Legal Game: NSW, SA, TAS, VIC

Mountain Duck Tadorna tadornoides F

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm): 56-68
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 1.3-1.6
Legal Game: NSW, SA, TAS, VIC

Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus)

Pink eared Duck Malacorhynchus membranaceus

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 36-45
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 0.290-0.480
Legal Game: NSW, NT, SA, VIC

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm): 39
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 0.272-0.423
Legal Game: NSW, NT, SA, VIC

Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa)

Pacific Black Duck Anas superciliosa

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 50.5-61
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 1-1.1
Legal Game: NSW, NT, SA, TAS, VIC

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm): 47–58.5
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 
Legal Game: NSW, NT, SA, TAS, VIC

Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata)

Wood Duck Chenonetta jubata M

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 48-60
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 0.800
Legal Game: NSW, NT, SA, TAS, VIC

Wood Duck Chenonetta jubata F

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm): 48
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 
Legal Game: NSW, NT, SA, TAS, VIC

Plumed Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna eytoni)

Plumed Whistling Duck Dendrocygna eytoni

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 43.5-61.5
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 0.580-1.4
Legal Game: NSW, NT

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm): 41.5-56
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 
Legal Game: NSW, NT

Water Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna arcuata)

Water Whistling Duck Dendrocygna arcuata

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 54-60
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 0.750
Legal Game: NSW, NT

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm):
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 
Legal Game: NSW, NT

Australian Game Geese

Magpie Goose (Anseranas semipalmata)

Magpie Goose Anseranas semipalmata

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 75-92
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 1.838–3.195
Legal Game: NT

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm): 71-81
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 1.405-2.770
Legal Game: NT

Australian Game Quail

Stubble Quail (Coturnix pectoralis)

Stubble Quail
Stubble Quail

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 18-18.5
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 0.100
Legal Game: NSW, SA, VIC

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm): 17–20
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 0.110
Legal Game: NSW, SA, VIC

Brown Quail (Coturnix ypsilophora)

Coturnix ypsilophora   Sydney Olympic Park
Coturnix ypsilophora Sydney Olympic Park

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 18-20
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 0.075-0.092
Legal Game: NSW, TAS

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm): 18
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 
Legal Game: NSW, TAS

Australian Game Birds

Muttonbird (Ardenna tenuirostris formally Puffinus tenuirostris)

Muttonbird Ardenna tenuirostris formally Puffinus tenuirostris

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 40-45
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 0.480-0.930
Legal Game: TAS

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm):
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 
Legal Game: TAS

Common Bronzewing Pigeon (Phaps chalcoptera)

Common Bronzewing Pigeon Phaps chalcoptera

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 30-36
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 0.317
Legal Game: NSW

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm):
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 
Legal Game: NSW

Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes Columbidae)

Crested Pigeon Ocyphaps lophotes Columbidae

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 31-36
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 0.150-0.250
Legal Game: NSW

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm):
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 
Legal Game: NSW

Introduced Game Birds

California Quail (Lophortyx callipepla californicus)

California Quail Lophortyx callipepla californicus M

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 24-27
Width (cm): 8-9
Height (cm): 15-17
Weight (kg): 0.150-0.190
Legal Game: NSW, VIC

California Quail Lophortyx callipepla californicus F

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm): 24-27
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 
Legal Game: NSW, VIC

Japanese Quail (Coturnix japonica)

Japanese Quail Coturnix japonica

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 16-18
Width (cm): 7-8
Height (cm): 14-16
Weight (kg): 0.090-0.140
Legal Game: VIC

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm): 16-18
Width (cm): 7-8
Height (cm): 14-16
Weight (kg): 0.120-0.160
Legal Game: VIC

European Quail (Coturnix coturnix)

Ducks 1

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 18-22
Width (cm): 6-7
Height (cm): 13.5-15.5
Weight (kg): 0.070-0.140
Legal Game: VIC

European Quail Coturnix coturnix F

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm): 18-22
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 
Legal Game: VIC

Bobwhite Quail (Colinus virginianus)

Bobwhite Quail Colinus virginianus M

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 20-25
Width (cm): 6.5-7.5
Height (cm): 16-19
Weight (kg): 0.170-0.180
Legal Game: NSW

Bobwhite Quail Colinus virginianus F

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm):
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 
Legal Game: NSW

Ring Neck Pheasant (Phasiniacus phasianus colchicus)

Ring Neck Pheasant Phasiniacus phasianus colchicus M

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 60-89
Width (cm): 13-17
Height (cm): 31.5-41
Weight (kg): 0.750-1.7
Legal Game: NSW, TAS, VIC

Ring Neck Pheasant Phasiniacus phasianus colchicus F

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm): 50-63
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 0.900
Legal Game: NSW, TAS, VIC

Chukar Partridge (Alectors alectoris chukar)

Chukar Partridge Alectors alectoris chukar

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 30-38
Width (cm): 12-13.5
Height (cm): 23-26
Weight (kg): 0.510-0.800
Legal Game: NSW, VIC

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm): 30-38
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 0.450-.680
Legal Game: NSW, VIC

Grey Partridge (Perdix perdix)

Grey Partridge Perdix perdix

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 28-32
Width (cm): 12-13.5
Height (cm): 23-25
Weight (kg): 0.390-0.500
Legal Game: VIC

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm): 28-32
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 
Legal Game: VIC

Guinea Fowl (Numida meleagris)

Guinea Fowl Numida meleagris

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 53-63
Width (cm): 15-18
Height (cm): 42-50
Weight (kg): 1-1.8
Legal Game: VIC

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm):
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 
Legal Game: VIC

Peafowl (Pavo cristatus)

Peafowl Pavo cristatus M

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 100-120
Width (cm): 16.5-20
Height (cm): 67-78
Weight (kg): 2.75-6
Legal Game: NSW

Peafowl Pavo cristatus F

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm): 95
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 2.8-4
Legal Game: NSW

Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)

Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 28-33
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 0.160
Legal Game: NSW

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm):
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 
Legal Game: NSW

Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)

Turkey Meleagris gallopavo M

 

Gender: Male
Length (cm): 100-120
Width (cm): 38-47
Height (cm): 65-80
Weight (kg): 5-11
Legal Game: NSW

Turkey Meleagris gallopavo F

 

Gender: Female
Length (cm): 76-95
Width (cm):
Height (cm):
Weight (kg): 2.5-5.4
Legal Game: NSW

Note that the above list is not comprehensive and does not list the species you are NOT allowed to hunt. So again, before you go out to hunt, please check the rules and regulations in your state or territory to ensure you are hunting legally and so that you do not find yourself in trouble.

We would love to know what type of waterfowl, ducks or game birds you hunt and if you do so with a gundog. Feel free to reach out if you have more information you would like us to include above. Happy hunting!

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