Wild Ducks

Black Bellied Whistling Ducks

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Black Bellied Whistling Ducks Details

Black Bellied Tree Ducks for sale

Dendrocygna autumnalis

Other Names: Black Bellied Tree Duck

Range: The Black Bellied Whistling Duck lives in only the southern-most regions of the US, from Arizona to Louisiana, and has healthy populations throughout Central and South America. The Northern subspecies lives from the southern US to Panama, and the Southern subspecies lives from Panama to Paraguay.

Habitat: These birds prefer shallow, still bodies of fresh water, such as ponds, marshes, lakes and reservoirs. While they will live in open areas, they prefer water with nearby trees.

Nests are usually built in the cavities of trees, but may also be constructed on the ground with heavy vegetation cover, if necessary. They will use nesting boxes readily as well.

Description: The Black Bellied Whistling Duck has a striking appearance, with a red bill and pinkish legs and an upright stance. In addition to the grey, black and brown plumage, it has a distinct white stripe along the wings which is most visible during flight.

It is a fairly large duck, measuring 19-21 inches in length, and with an average weight of 1.8 pounds. Males and females are the same in appearance, however there are distinct differences between the Northern and Southern Black Bellied Whistling Ducks. The Southern group is smaller with a grey breast, while the Northern group is a bit larger with a chestnut-colored breast.

Status in the wild: Populations in the wild are stable and may be growing.

Status in aviculture: The International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists the Black Bellied Whistling Duck as being of Least Concern. The species has benefited from the placement of nesting boxes in its habitat.

Because the Black Bellied Whistling Duck is a particularly docile bird, there was some concern that it would be threatened by hunting, but recent reports have allayed all such fears and shown that this species has expanded its range in the last 30 years and that populations are stable and possibly growing.

The Black Bellied Whistling duck is also a popular choice among wild water fowl collectors so there is a healthy captive population as well.

Breeding Season: The breeding season varies according to location. In the US, it begins in April.

One of the distinctive characteristics of the species is the very strong pair-bond. Pairs of Black Bellied Whistling ducks sometimes stay together for years, much like swans or geese. Both parents care for the young.

Clutch Size: 12-16

Incubation Period: 26-31 days

Miscellaneous Notes: The Black Bellied Whistling duck will breed with other species including the White Faced Whistling duck, the West Indian Whistling duck, the Fulvous Whistling duck and the Plumed Whistling duck. It should be kept separate from these species in order to avoid hybridization.

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Black Bellied Whistling Ducks

Black Bellied Whistling Ducks

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