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Duck: White-faced Duck

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Tue Sep 12, 2006 3:06 pm Unread post
White-faced Duck (Dendrocygna viduata)

Sometimes also called White-faced Whistling Duck

Image

Other names:
Afrikaans: Nonnetjie-eend
German: Witwenente
French: Dendrocygne veuf
Portuguese: Pato-assobiador-de-faces-brancas
Dutch: Witwangfluiteend

Appearance
The adult males have the front half of their head and throat white and the rest of their head and neck are black with white patches on the underside of the neck the lower neck and wing shoulders are chestnut; their flanks are barred black on white the rest of the underparts, underside of wings, the rump and tail are black.

Their back and scapulars are olive brown edged with golden buff, eyes are brown, the bill is black, feet, toes and webs are blue with black markings. The female is similar but has the front of the head and neck spot tinged with rust color. Although it has the long neck and long legs of other tree ducks, it does not spend much time perched in trees but prefers sand banks. It behaves more like a goose or swan than a typical duck.

Diet
They eat underwater tubers and seeds of aquatic plants, also molluscs, small aquatic animals and invertebrates such as aquatic insects, they commonly obtain their food by diving.

Breeding
Nests are built of leaves on the ground in marshes and also in hollow trees. Mutual preening plays an important part in the formation of pairs and maintenance of bonds. Clutches consist of 6 to 12 eggs, and both partners incubate the eggs for 28 to 30 days. The ducklings are often hidden in aquatic vegetation by the parents.

Behaviour
A highly social species with flocks often numbering in the hundreds. Mutual preening is highly developed. and is important for permanent pair bonding. Foraging is primarily at night, so there is much nocturnal flying. There is a good deal of nomadic movement of the birds. They are often found in association with the fulvous whistling duck.

It vocalizes frequently with distinctive high-pitched, multisyllabic whistles which sound very unduck-like. Male and female calls differ slightly and may be a bonding mechanism. Its attractive appearance make it a popular bird in waterfowl collections. They are usually in flocks. They spend a lot of time sitting on the banks.

Most foraging activity takes place at night; during the day the birds roost near the water, often in flocks of several hundred, and preen themselves and others. Whistling ducks are more arboreal than many other species of duck, spending part of the day perched on a branch. They are fast swimmers but do not dive except for food.

Habitat
They are found at dams, lakes, rivers, estuaries, sewage dams and floodplains. A variety of freshwater, open wetland areas such as lakes, swamps, marshes. Occasionally found in small bodies of open water.
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Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:22 pm Unread post
Only pic I've got of these beautiful ducks.
Taken at Sweni hide near N'wanetsi picnic site during my June 2005 trip.

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Wed Sep 13, 2006 9:04 pm Unread post
Taken on the S41

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Sun Sep 24, 2006 1:14 pm Unread post
Lake Panic 16-9-2006:
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Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:40 pm Unread post
Just love these birds with their very distinctive call heard so frequently anywhere near water all over the park. :D



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Tue Oct 24, 2006 10:54 pm Unread post
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From the Sweni hide



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Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:52 am Unread post
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At Shitlhave



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Sun Mar 04, 2007 1:20 pm Unread post
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I suppose this could be a quiz - where were these taken? (In the Kruger!)

Richard

http://www.pbase.com/richardharris/february_2007&page=1
more photos / larger versions here




Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:10 am Unread post
This photo was not captured in a SA National Park, was captured in the Maputo Elephant Reserve. It was such an incredible sighting that I wish to share it.
All the white spots are White-faced ducks….this is however just a portion of the ducks that were there…it is impossible to capture all on a photo. I have never seen so many together, not even on a photo.

Image

Between these ducks there were, among other, Yellow-billed Storks, African Spoonbills and Grey Herons.



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Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:35 am Unread post
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Maloutswa hide, Mapungubwe NP


Re: Duck: White-faced Duck

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Sat Nov 21, 2009 5:02 pm Unread post
Very relaxed group in KNP.

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Re: Duck: White-faced Duck

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Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:21 am Unread post
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Re: Duck: White-faced Duck

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Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:52 am Unread post
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Capybaras and white-faced ducks in the same frame? You will only find that strange if you did not know that white-faced ducks occur naturally in both Africa and South America. It does not migrate across the Atlantic Ocean so some ornithologists suggest of an evolutionary link prior to the break-up of the super-continent - Gondwanaland, or very shortly thereafter.


Re: Duck: White-faced Duck

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Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:55 am Unread post
White-faced Duck coming in for a water landing ...

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Re: Duck: White-faced Duck

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Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:55 am Unread post
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