As a person who identifies and studies birds in their natural habitats you can imagine how excited I was when I spotted this Rusty Waterfowl on a farm near Crookwell, NSW.
The Rusty is closely related to the goose. We observe that it has the classic markings being a black rusty neck and head, with the characteristic blue-black crown.
The underparts are blue, with contrasting brown edges on the underwing. The bill, legs and feet are orange.
Unlike most waterfowl this species have strong clawed toes that are only partly webbed.
Any study of waterfowl will find that the Rusty is an early and distinctive offshoot diverging after screamers and before all other ducks, geese and swans. Fossils suggest that the family spread across the globe during the late Paleogene period.
Apparently they make excellent watchdogs and pond sentinels and rarely move from their territory.