One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Australian. The Australian shelduck, Tadorna tadornoides, which has a chestnut breast and a white ring around the neck.
2Originally NZ. A blue-grey New Zealand duck, Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos, found chiefly on streams and rivers in mountainous areas.
Early 18th century; earliest use found in Atlas Geographus. From mountain + duck.
mountain duck/ˈmaʊnt(ɪ)n ˌdʌk/
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