• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

African Black Duck - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Mybs
Paarl Sewage Works, Western Cape, South Africa, February 2005
Anas sparsa


Brown-black head, black body, white marks on its back. The bill is dark and the legs and feet are orange.


Widespread throughout sub-Saharan Africa:
Western Africa: Guinea, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola
Eastern Africa: Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, Swaziland


Anas sparsa has two subspecies:[1]

  • A. s. leucostigma
  • A. s. sparsa
  • Southern Africa (south of Zimbabwe)


Rivers and streams during the day, preferring large open waters at night. Water in wooded hills.


Usually in pairs which defend territories along rivers or streams.


The diet includes larvae and pupae, aquatic animals, plant material, seeds, small fish, snails, and crabs.


It builds a cup shaped nest from driftwood and matted grass, and the nest is placed near running water. 4-8 eggs are laid and incubated by the female for 30 days. The young are cared for by the female, and fledge after about 86 days.


  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist.
  2. Sinclair, I and P Ryan. 2003. Birds of Africa South of the Sahara. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0691118154
  1. Avibase

Recommended Citation

External Links