Black Bellied Whistling Duck
The Black Bellied Whistling Duck is a mid-sized waterfowl species. The black-bellied whistling duck is a common species that is “quite tame, even in the wild”.The black-bellied whistling duck is quite unique among ducks in their strong monogamous pair-bond. Its pairs often stay together for many years, a trait more often associated with geese and swans. Both parents share all tasks associated with the raising of young, from incubation to the rearing of ducklings. The ducks, primarily cavity nesters, prefer the confines of a hollow tree, but will nest on the ground when necessary.
Appearance: – The Black bellied Whistling Duck has a chestnut brown crown, nape, lower neck, breast, and back, with a pale brown-grey face and upper neck, a white eye-ring, long red beak with blue tip, under-parts and tail are black, wings are white with black primary feathers and brown wing coverts, and its long legs are pink. Both sexes are similar.
Size: – Typical Adult is 22-26 inches.
Food: – Mainly aquatic vegetation, seeds, rice, grain, also occasionally molluscs, and insects.
Habitat: – Shallow lakes, marshes, ponds, cultivated land, and reservoirs in south USA to central and south America.
Breeding Season: – April to October in USA, and September in Brazil.
Eggs: – 12 to 16 (whitish color).
Notes: – The Black-bellied Whistling Duck was also formerly called the Black-bellied Tree Duck. These ducks pair up for many years and both parents raise their young together. As the name suggests this is a noisy bird with a whistling call especially in flight.
The different types of wild ducks can be grouped into puddle, aka “dabbling” and diving ducks. The dabblers mostly feed in smaller bodies of shallow water or along shorelines, where they are able to tip their bodies forward to reach their food on the bottom. There are divers who feed in deeper water where they dive and pursue their quarry. Some of these birds, the Harlequin Duck for example, actually dives to the bottom of fast-flowing waters and feeds on life forms attached to rocks.