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White-faced whistling duck (Dendrocygna viduata)

White-faced whistling duck
White-faced whistling duckWhite-faced whistling duckWhite-faced whistling duckWhite-faced whistling duck

Personal Information
In the Zoo’s Aviary live two female white-faced whistling ducks. They were hatched in 1999 and came to the Zoo in 2000. They can be identified by their bright-white feathered faces on a brown background of feathers. They are friendly birds, tending to flock together. With their elegant feather patterns, it might be easy to mistake them for males; however, whistling ducks exhibit the same plumage whether male or female.

Status in the Wild
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status: Least concern. The white-faced whistling duck is an abundant species. It is a protected species under the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds.

Habitat
White-faced whistling ducks inhabit freshwater lakes or reservoirs in sub-Saharan Africa and South America.

Diet
White-faced whistling ducks are omnivorous. They eat grains, seeds, invertebrates and plants.

  • Whistling Ducks are monomorphic; meaning the males and females have identical plumage. The females, however, are larger than the males.
  • The white-faced whistling duck is very social. At favored sites, flocks of more than 1,000 birds are not uncommon.
  • The “whistling” part of the white-faced whistling duck’s name comes from their distinctive three-note whistling call which some people think can be noisy.
  • White-faced whistling ducks are diving ducks. They dive to feed on crustaceans, mollusks, invertebrates and aquatic insects at the water’s bottom.