Plumed Whistling Duck

The plumed whistling duck, also called the grass whistle duck, is a whistling duck that breeds in New Guinea and Australia. It is a predominantly brown colored duck with a long neck and characteristic plumes arising from its flanks.

Plumed Whistling Duck

Plumed Whistling Duck

Appearance: – The Plumed Whistling Duck has a mainly brownish plumage with distinctive whitish plumes extending from the flanks, a brown back and tail, black-barred chestnut breast, pink beak with dark spots, yellow/orange eyes, white abdomen, vent and under-tail, and legs and feet are pink. Both sexes are alike.

Size: – Typical Adult is 16-24 inches.

Food: – Grazing on tropical grasses, grains, seeds, and aquatic vegetation.

Habitat: – Tall grasslands, savanna, lakes, and swamps in north, east, and central Australia, and also New Guinea.

Breeding Season: – Usually January to March during wet season.

Eggs: – 8 to 14 (smooth white and oval shaped).

Notes: – The Plumed Whistling Duck or Grass Whistle Duck prefers to feed on land by cropping grass rather than feed in the water. 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.


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