Duck, White-Faced Whistling

White-faced Whistling Duck

Duck, White-Faced Whistling

Scientific Name: Dendrocygna viduata


Status: Least Concern


Habitat: Open wetland areas in northern South Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and Madagascar


Diet: These ducks eat vegetation and small invertebrates.


Length: Roughly 3 feet


Weight: 1–2 pounds


Wingspan: Approximately 3 feet

These birds are sometimes called white-faced tree ducks because of their habit of occasionally perching in trees. As the name suggests, their call is very different from the typical duck call. Rather than quacking, they produce a high-pitched, three-note whistle that sounds something like “whee-whee-whee.”

White-faced whistling ducks are social birds that gather in large flocks that can number more than 1,000 individuals. When it comes to breeding, though, they nest individually or in small groups. This species is believed to be perennially monogamous, meaning that males and females form pairs that stay together even outside of breeding season.

Both parents share the duties of incubating eggs, protecting the nest, and guarding the young. The ducklings are precocious and can begin feeding themselves within a day of hatching.

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