Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks – LoafingDendrocygna autumnalis
December – Texas
L=21”...... WS=30” ...... WT=1.8 lb
Order: Anseriformes (Ducks, Geese Swans)
Family: Aatidae (Ducks, Geese Swans)
Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks are more arboreal than most ducks and will frequently be seen loafing in trees and even on barbed wire or telephone lines. Prior to being renamed “whistling-ducks” this species was called the Black-bellied Tree Duck.
They are gregarious and are found in large flocks. When loafing or foraging it is common for sentries to watch for threats. Individuals form lifelong pairs and will separate from a flock in breeding season. Usually they nest in tree cavities. Their young are precocial (i.e. born with open eyes, downy feathers, and are capable of locomotion within a few hours of hatching) and will jump from the nest within 24 hours of hatching. To soften the fall from the 8-30 foot height parents will find or create a landing area that has thick herbaceous matter.