Fulvous Whistling Duck
|Fulvous Whistling Duck|
The Fulvous Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna bicolor), is a whistling duck that breeds across the world's tropical regions in much of Central and South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian subcontinent, and the Gulf Coast of the United States.
The Fulvous Whistling Duck is 48–53 cm (19–21 in) long. It has a long grey bill, long head and longish legs, buff head and underparts, the latter reddish-tinged on the flanks, a dark crown, and dark grey back and wings. The tail and wing patches are chestnut, and there is a white crescent on the upper tail which is visible in flight. All plumages are similar, except that juveniles have less contrasted flank and tail colouration. As the name implies, these are noisy birds with a clear whistling kee-wee-ooo call.
Distribution and habitat
The Fulvous Whistling Duck has a very large range, being known from the Gulf coast of Texas and Louisiana, the Atlantic coast of Florida, Southern California and Hawaii. In South America it occurs as far south as Argentina. It also occurs in East Africa and in India. It is a common but wary species. It is largely resident but local migrations occur in Africa where it moves to new areas in search of new habitat. Its favoured habitat is fresh or brackish coastal marshes, rice paddies and agricultural fields.
This species is gregarious, and at favoured sites substantial flocks can form. It feeds on seeds and grain and also takes insects, snails and other invertebrates, often feeding at night. It nests on a stick platform in reeds or on the ground near water. A clutch of six to sixteen eggs is laid but sometimes other birds add their eggs to the nest. The ducklings are precocial and able to leave the nest soon after hatching but remain with the parents as a family group for some time.
The Fulvous Whistling Duck is listed as being of "Least Concern" by the IUCN as it is estimated to have a total population size of 1.3 to 1.5 million individuals. It is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Dendrocygna bicolor". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Christian Melgar (2003). "The Rise and Fall of the Fulvous Whistling-Duck in Hawai'i". Birding Hawaii. Retrieved 2013-12-23.
- Wildfowl by Madge and Burn, ISBN 0-7470-2201-1
- Birds of Venezuela by Hilty, ISBN 0-7136-6418-5
- Birds of The Gambia by Barlow, Wacher and Disley, ISBN 1-873403-32-1
- Birds of India by Grimmett, Inskipp and Inskipp, ISBN 0-691-04910-6
|Wikispecies has information related to: Dendrocygna bicolor|
- Fulvous Whistling Duck [dead link] at USGS
- Fulvous Whistling-duck videos at the Internet Bird Collection
- Species text in The Atlas of Southern African Birds.