White-Faced Whistling Duck

White-Faced Whistling Duck Dendrocygna viduata

Type of Animal:
Whistling Duck

Wetlands, lakes/surrounding areas, rivers/surrounding areas, reservoirs w/ plentiful vegetation, marshes, lagoons, brackish waters (especially estuaries), floodplains, freshwater swamps, rice fields, rice paddies, sewage farms, dams, sewage dams

Found in South America, parts of Central America, West Indies, Sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar, Comoros, Mayotte, Reunion, & Mauritius. Introduced in Florida.

Distinctive white-face, black neck/head, longish legs, long head, long gray bill, dark brown to blackish back/wings, black underbelly w/ fine barrings, chestnut neck, reddish to chestnut brown breast

Seeds, grasses, underwater tubers, aquatic plants/vegetation, rice, aquatic insects, crustaceans, aquatic mollusks, insect larvae, fruit

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos, aviculture, & wildlife centers

Flocks range from 10-7,000 birds. Breed colonially in colonies of 5-100 monogamous pairs. Pairs sometimes dump eggs into nests of other pairs. Each female lays 4-16 eggs & “dump nests” can have more than 60 eggs.

Additional Info:

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

Adult: 1-2 lbs
Young: 6.5 oz

1 month

Life Span:
10-12 years

1.2-1.6 ft

Body Length:
1.25-1.583 ft

Main predators are predatory mammals, predatory birds, & predatory reptiles.

Get name from white face & whistling sounds.

Often flock w/ other water bird species.

Also called White-Faced Tree Duck due to sometimes roosting/perching in trees.

Wingspan of 2.82-3.08 ft.

Ducklings stay w/ parents for 2-4 months.

Mature at a year old.

Nest either on stick platforms close to ground, ground depressions among tall grass/reedbeds or in trees.

After breeding, these ducks undergo molt period lasting up to a month in which they’re flightless.

Pairs engage in mutual preening during courtship. They also dip bills in water, followed by male rubbing sides of head on backside. After mating, pair will wade side-by-side in water w/ wings outstretched.

Pairs can have up to 4 clutches a year.

Fun Fact(s):
Quite friendly & tame. In fact, they can be so tame that they sometimes won’t disperse if gunshots heard.

Hunters often use whistles fashioned from shotshell brass to call/lure them.

When alarmed, these ducks stand straight & freeze.

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