Friday, March 7, 2008

Black-bellied whistling duck

One of my favorite ducks with pink feet. Photographed at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge.
(Be sure to click on the Photo for a good look).

Addendum added Mar 11:

The Black-bellied Whistling Duck lies somewhere between a goose and a true duck in appearance. The male and female are similar in appearance. This is probably a pair. They can be found in deep south Texas year-round. I believe there is also a breeding population in Florida. There are also found in southern Arizona in the summer. Just from personal experience, it seems they may be expanding their range as we see them further north in Texas now.

When we first started going to the Valley years ago, it was quite uncommon to see one. Now they are a regular sight. We see them feeding in grass and rice fields as well as tipping up in edges of ponds and grassy areas on lakes. They can be seen in trees as well as on floating masses of vegetation as are these pictured here.

They are so cool as they call constantly in flight.

They are like a wood duck in that they will nest in cavities and man-made boxes if the hole is large enough.



mon@rch said...

Very pink feet for sure! Great photo!

Island Rambles Blog said...

oh my gosh that is a wonderful shot of the whistling duck...they are beautiful.

Tom said...


Great blog you have here! I'd love to see this species in the wild, really interesting looking bird. Thanks for the link, I certainly appreciate it.

Tom @ Ohio Nature

Texas Travelers said...

To mon@rch, island rambles, and tom: It was by far the closest I have ever been to BBWDs. Not only are the pink feet neat but the close-cropped burr haircuts they appear to have are really cool. Troy

me and my camera said...

What great looking ducks! Some sightings just fill you with joy and you just have to smile; this photo did it for me. :-)

Chris said...

Beautiful picture, I've never seen those before and you look so close!

Kathiesbirds said...

Troy, what beautiful birds! Supposedly them come to AZ sometimes, but I have yet to see one myself. Thanks for the good look!

designsbynana said...

What a great pic!!! I live in savannah, GA and yesterday I spotted the most unusual duck I had ever seen. After researching the web you guys have the best pics out there and info thank you!!!!By the way there were two I am guessing a couple! and their feet and bik was a neon pink (flamingo pink) JUST GORGEOUS!!!!! I hope they will tell their friends about our pond!!!!

Anonymous said...

I will agree that your pictures of the Black Bellied Whistling ducks are fabulous! I only wish that I could just see them in pictures. They are not so much fun to live with.

I live in Nassau Bay, Tx on a small creek leading to Clear Lake. Across the water is a large office building where the people who work there have decided it is of the essence to feed them.

There are thousands of them. They roost on my dock, leaving a mess for me to clean. They have just about destroyed my grass along the water. At night they are so loud with their whistling it is hard to sleep. If you are out on the patio at anytime, you cannot hold a conversation due to the loudness of their whistling. Basically, there are too many in one spot.

The people who have made it their mission in life to feed them four to five 50lb bags of food a day, probably don't realize how destructive these birds are.

For me, I wish they would go away and not come back. We would have peace on the water if they were not here. I could appreciate a few but the thousands that are here makes me not like them at all.

Anonymous said...

I think we just saw a pair of these ducks in our back yard. We live in Central Texas, we could not figure out how they found our feeder. They are beautiful ducks,if they are this species.

Anonymous said...

One comment refers to a possible sighting in Central Texas. I'm curious to know whereabouts this person is referencing. I live betwen Comfort and Fredericksburg and would swear I saw one.