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Black-bellied Whistling Duck

From Opus

Alternative name: Black-bellied Tree-Duck, Red-billed Whistling Duck

Photo by David RoachWakodahatchee, Florida, USA, September 2004
Photo by David Roach
Wakodahatchee, Florida, USA, September 2004
Dendrocygna autumnalis


[edit] Identification

L. 20-22" (51-56 cm).

  • Tall, long-necked, and long-legged

[edit] Adult

  • Mainly chestnut and black
  • Red bill
  • Pink legs
  • Large white wing patch visible in flight

[edit] Immature

Similar, but much duller

Photo by gmaxIsola della Cona, Gorizia, North-eastern Italy), May 2007
Photo by gmax
Isola della Cona, Gorizia, North-eastern Italy), May 2007

[edit] Distribution

USA: Breeds in southern Texas and Arizona, expanding northwards and commonly found in suburban areas around Houston and Dallas. Introduced birds have bred in southern Florida. Casual vagrant to Kansas.
Rest of the Americas: Mexico through Central and South America to Argentina.

[edit] Taxonomy

Clements1 view this as a monotypic species, while other sources (Restall2; others?) recognize up to three subspecies: autumnalis, discolor, and fulgens.

[edit] Habitat

Wooded or tree-lined streams and ponds.

[edit] Behaviour

These handsome, conspicuous birds often rest on large tree branches, stakes, or poles in the water, also on the ground, by bodies of water.

[edit] Breeding

12-16 white eggs placed in a tree cavity or man-made nest box without a nest lining, occasionally on the ground among reeds.

[edit] Diet

Almost entirely herbivorous, they feed in shallow water on tubers and other aquatic vegetation, as well as in grain fields.

Unlike many ducks, this species is largely nocturnal, migrating at night and resting and feeding during the day.

[edit] Vocalisation

Squeaky whistles, often in flight.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Restall et al Birds of Northern South America. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300124156

[edit] External Links


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