Fulvous Whistling Duck
The Fulvous Whistling Duck or fulvous tree duck is a whistling duck that breeds across the world’s tropical regions in much of Central and South America, the West Indies, the southern US, sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian subcontinent. It has mainly reddish brown plumage, long legs and a long grey bill, and shows a distinctive white band across its black tail in flight. Like other members of its ancient lineage, it has a whistling call which is given in flight or on the ground. The preferred habitat is shallow lakes, paddy fields or other wetlands with plentiful vegetation.
Appearance: – The Fulvous Whistling Duck has a dark crown which extends to the nape, pale buff face and neck, the wings and mantle are dark brown with black edged feathers,the breast and belly are rich fulvous, the creamy-buff flank feathers form a border between the sides and the back, tail-coverts are creamy white and tail is black, the eyes are brown, and the beak, legs, and feet are blue-grey. Both sexes are alike.
Size: – Typical Adult is 19-21 inches.
Food: – Aquatic plant seeds, grains, rice, weeds, insects and small aquatic animals.
Habitat: – Wetlands, flooded grasslands, and pastures in southern USA – south California, Texas, Florida, into Mexico and the north-east of South America, also Africa, and India.
Breeding Season: – April to September in southern USA.
Eggs: – 8 to 12 (ivory-white color).
Notes: – The Fulvous Whistling Duck gets its name from from its coloring as ‘Fulvous’ means tawny. This Whistling Duck prefers to roost on the ground rather than perching in trees. Like other Whistling Ducks they have a noisy whistling call.
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.