Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

Dendrocygna autumnalis

Order

ANSERIFORMES

Family

Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4

BBWD

Code 6

DENAUT

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Black-bellied Whistling-Duck is a whistling-duck which may also be called the Black-bellied Tree Duck. It is quite a common species, with populations estimated to range between one and two million individuals. They occur in rice fields and freshwater marshes from southern Texas and southern Arizona south through Central and South America to northern Argentina. They are nocturnal feeders, and eat a diet composed mostly of plant life. In past years, hunting activities caused concern for the Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, but recent counts have confirmed that populations are at least stable, if not growing, in North America. Due to the large, stable population, the conservation status of the Black-bellied Whistling-Duck is Least Concern.

SUMMARY

Overview

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck: Large, colorful duck with bright red bill, pink-red legs and feet. Shows white wing patch, black belly, reddish-brown breast, neck and back. Face, foreneck are gray, white eye ring. Feeds on aquatic plants, cultivated grains, seeds. Direct flight on rapid wing beats.

 

Range and Habitat

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck: Breeds from the southern United States and tropical Central to south central South America. It can be found year-round in southeast Texas, and seasonally in Arizona, and Louisiana's Gulf Coast. Rare breeder in such disparate locations as Florida, Arkansas, Georgia and South Carolina. Occurs in quiet, shallow freshwater ponds, and estuarine wetlands and marshes.

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Black-bellied Whistling-Duck SONGS AND CALLS

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck C1

Rapid peeping alarm calls.

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck C2

Whistled "pe-che-ne-ne-ne" calls given in flight.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"pe che che ne"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Black-bellied Whistling-Duck is an unusual species among North American waterfowl. With its long legs, peculiar appearance, and odd habits, it was described by one early American ornithologist as “most un-duck-like.”
  • They were formerly known as the Black-bellied Tree Duck; as this name suggests, they are quite fond of perching. Additionally, tree cavities provide nesting sites.
  • This species expanded its range in the latter half of the 20th century, and has benefited in recent years from the placement of nest boxes across key portions of its range.
  • A group of ducks has many collective nouns, including a "brace", "flush", "paddling", "raft", and "team" of ducks.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
Eye ringX
The circle around the eye formed of feathers that are a different color from the rest of the face.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
ForeneckX
Also called the jugulum or throat patch, it is located on the front of the neck.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X