Whistling Duck

The White-faced Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna viduata) is a species of whistling duck found in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of South America. 

Physical Characteristics: White-faced whistling ducks have a distinctive appearance with a white face and neck, contrasting with the dark brown plumage on the rest of their body. They have long, slender necks, relatively long legs, and a prominent reddish-brown eye. The bill is relatively short and pinkish in colour. Both males and females have similar plumage.

Habitat: These ducks are commonly found in a variety of wetland habitats, including freshwater lakes, rivers, marshes, swamps, and flooded grasslands. They prefer habitats with dense vegetation for cover and nesting sites. White-faced whistling ducks are often seen perching in trees or roosting on branches near water, hence their alternative name of tree ducks.

Diet: White-faced whistling ducks are omnivorous and feed on a variety of foods, including aquatic plants, grasses, seeds, grains, insects, and small aquatic invertebrates. They use their specialized bills to filter food from the water or to graze on vegetation along the shoreline. These ducks may also forage on land, especially in agricultural fields or grasslands where they can find seeds and grains.

Behaviour: White-faced whistling ducks are generally social birds and are often seen in flocks, particularly during the non-breeding season or during migration. They are diurnal, meaning they are most active during the day, and spend much of their time foraging for food, preening their feathers, and resting near water. They communicate with each other through a variety of vocalizations, including their distinctive whistling calls.

Reproduction: Breeding in white-faced whistling ducks typically occurs during the wet season when water levels are high and food resources are abundant. They are monogamous and form pair bonds that can last for multiple breeding seasons. These ducks construct their nests on the ground or in emergent vegetation near water, where females lay clutches of eggs. Both parents take turns incubating the eggs and caring for the young until they are old enough to fend for themselves.

Conservation Status: The white-faced whistling duck is not considered globally threatened, although localized declines may occur due to habitat loss, habitat degradation, pollution, and hunting. Conservation efforts focus on protecting their wetland habitats, managing water resources, and raising awareness about the importance of conserving these unique and ecologically valuable birds.

Overall, the white-faced whistling duck is a fascinating and charismatic bird that plays an important role in wetland ecosystems as a seed disperser, insect predator, and indicator of environmental health. With its distinctive appearance, unique behaviours, and melodic calls, it is cherished by birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts around the world.

Whistling Duck Gallery


Location - The Lost Kingdom, Zoo
Threat Status - Least Concerned

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