Lesser Whistling Duck
The Lesser Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna javanica), also known as Indian whistling duck or lesser whistling teal, is a species of whistling duck that breeds in the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. They are nocturnal feeders and during the day may be found in flocks around lakes and wet paddy fields. They can perch on trees and sometimes build their nest in the hollow of a tree.
Appearance: – The Lesser Whistling Duck has a dark grey-brown crown and forehead, dark eyes with pale yellow eye-ring, greyish-buff face and neck, long grey beak, chestnut lower breast, belly, and upper-tail coverts, the back and wings are darkish grey, flanks have creamy streaks, and legs and feet are dark blue-grey. Both sexes are alike.
Size: – Typical Adult is 15-16 inches.
Food: – Grazes on rice-fields and grasses, aquatic plants, shoots, stems, seeds, leaves, also insects, snails, and frogs.
Habitat: – Freshwater lakes with plenty of vegetation, in south and south east Asia – Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, and Vietnam. This duck is mostly resident but Chinese ducks winter further south.
Breeding Season: – June to October in India.
Eggs: – 7 to 12 (smooth white color).
Notes: – The Lesser Whistling Duck is also known as the Indian Whistling Duck, Lesser Tree Duck, or Lesser Whistling Teal. They nest in tree cavities and like to roost in trees overlooking the water. Like other Whistling Ducks they are noisy with a loud whistling call particularly when roosting.
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.