Fulvous Whistling Duck

Fulvous Whistling Duck Dendrocygna bicolor

Type of Animal:
Whistling Duck

Shallow wetlands, marshland, irrigated land, coastal plains, rice-growing areas, ponds, lakes, marshy shallows, lagoons, flooded grassland, flooded savanna, mangrove swamps, flooded fields, flooded pastures, flooded agricultural areas, slow-moving rivers w/ emergent vegetation, forests next to marshes/rivers, riparian forest, lowland swamps in open flat country, wet meadows, seasonal freshwater pools, slow-flowing streams, coastal prairies, brush country, can be found from sea level to 13,390 ft

In New World, found in S US, SW Arizona, S California, Hawaii, Mexico, Central America, Caribbean, much of South America except for much of C & S South America. In Old World, found in Sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar, Indian subcontinent, & Burma. Vagrant throughout continental US, S Canada, parts of Caribbean, & Morocco.

Plump, long-legged duck w/ slightly peaked head, long gray legs, long gray bill, rich cinnamon/rich buff (fulvous) color w/ broad black bars on wings/back, fine white area on side of neck, long white stripes on flank, black tail, white rump/undertail, females have more blackish on crown/back of neck than males

Aquatic plant matter, seeds, grasses, bulbs, stems, weeds, grains, agricultural crops (especially rice/cereal grains), mollusks, insects, dragonfly larvae, earthworms, aquatic worms, aquatic fruits, leaf shoots, buds, rushes

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos, aviculture, & wildlife centers

Flocks of 6-100 birds. Breed colonially in colonies of 3-25 monogamous pairs. Pairs sometimes dump eggs into nests of other pairs. Each female lays 6-16 eggs & “dump nests” can have more than 60 eggs. Will also lay eggs in nests of other species.

Additional Info:

Male: Drake
Female: Hen
Young: Duckling
Group: Flock

Male: 1.65-2.31 lbs
Female: 1.57-2.2 lbs
Young: 7 oz

1 month

Life Span:
5-6 years in wild, 8-10 years in captivity

Male: 1.675 ft
Female: 1.608 ft

Body Length:
Male: 1.44-1.675 ft
Female: 1.375-1.608 ft

Main predators are predatory mammals, predatory birds, & predatory reptiles.
Get name from coloring/hoarse whistling sound.
Sometimes persecuted by farmers due to penchant for eating grain crops.
Often flock w/ other water bird species.
Also called Fulvous Tree Duck due to sometimes roosting/perching in trees.
When they molt (replace flight feathers), they’re flightless & much more vulnerable to predators.
Ducklings stay w/ parents for 2 months but sometimes as long as 4 months.

Females have 2.79 ft wingspan, males have 3.05 ft wingpan.

Fun Fact(s):
They’re quite friendly & tame.
Only became established in US in 1800s, w/ start of rice cultivation.

16 thoughts on “Fulvous Whistling Duck

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