Pink-Eared Ducks (Malacorhynchus Membranaceus) have tiny, bright rose-colored ear-patches scarcely visible except at close range. Their Australian name is Zebra duck because of their boldly striped black-and-white flanks, breast and lower back. These little ducks with their distinct pattern and an enormous leaden-gray bill that is considerably broader at the tip, giving them a square-tipped appearance. They emerge from the egg with a highly modified bill, implying a specialized lifestyle from the very beginning. Their disproportionately large bill is well designed for straining minute organisms. Their flight is less swift than other similar-sized ducks, and while the bill is pointed downward, the head is held high. They fly very well and dive when wounded or during courtship, they mix freely with other wildfowl and gather in enormous flocks that can reach 20,000 ducks. The ducks are almost dependent on planktonic organisms as well as crustaceans, molluscs and insect, particularly chironomid larvae. Their bill is well designed for straining minute organisms, with pliable mandibular flaps that channel water in a manner that allow the ducks to filter algae and other plankton efficiently. They also feed by vortexing, in which two ducks spin about a central point with the head of one opposite the tail of the other, concentrating food in a gyrating water column. Nesting is stimulated by the drying and refilling of pools that promote increased levels of organic material. The ducks are capable of nesting nearly year-round when water conditions are suitable, until water levels have risen to maximum and started to subside, because some time is necessary for the pools to become colonized by insects, microscopic animals and plant life. In good years, large numbers of Pink-Eared Ducks (Malacorhynchus Membranaceus) concentrate in shallow flood plains. However, when conditions do not meet specifications, reproduction may be completely curtailed. Pairs bond are strong and lifelong. They prefer tree hollows up to 30 feet above the water but they also use logs, stumps, fence posts, flat limbs, tree forks, nests, boxes, bushes, or cane grass.