Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

Dendrocygna autumnalis




Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:


Number of Eggs:

12 - 16

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

In tree cavity or nest box.

Nest Material:

Generally none.


Most do not migrate



Black-bellied Whistling-Duck: Large, colorful, slender duck with bright red bill and pink-red legs and feet. Shows white wing patch, black belly, and reddish-brown breast. Sexes are similar. Juvenile resembles adult but has gray-tinged underparts and gray bill, legs, and feet.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck: Mainly nests in tree cavities but may also nest on the ground with little material added to form a nest cup. Lays twelve to sixteen white eggs that are incubated by both parents for about 28 days. Chicks begin to fly at 56 days but remain wth the parents for at least 144 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck: Feeds mainly on seeds of grasses and sorghum. Searches for food primarily at night in shallow water or on land. May eat a few invertebrates.


Black-bellied Whistling-Duck: High pitched whistle "pe che che ne."

Similar Species

Black-bellied Whistling Duck: Fulvous Whistling-Duck lacks black belly, has gray-blue bill, legs and feet and pale brown plumage.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

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.
The upper front part of a bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X