Whistling ducks comprise a group of species that are primarily of tropical and subtropical distribution. In common with the swans and true geese (which with them comprise the subfamily Anserinae), the included species have a reticulated tarsal surface pattern, lack sexual dimorphism in plumage, produce vocalizations that are similar or identical in both sexes, form relatively permanent pair bonds, and lack complex pair-forming behavior patterns. Unlike the geese and swans, whistling ducks have clear, often melodious whistling voices that are the basis for their group name. The alternative name, tree ducks, is far less appropriate, since few of the species regularly perch or nest in trees. All the species have relatively long legs and large feet that extend beyond the fairly short tail when the birds are in flight. They dive well, and some species obtain much of their food in this manner.
Listen to the sound of Fulvous Tree-Duck
Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto
|wingspan min.:||85||cm||wingspan max.:||93||cm|
|size min.:||48||cm||size max.:||53||cm|
|incubation min.:||24||days||incubation max.:||26||days|
|fledging min.:||61||days||fledging max.:||26||days|
Both the male and female incubate the eggs, and, once they hatch, the male will assist with protection of the young. The young leave the nest soon after hatching and hide amongst dense vegetation.
Nesting is done in well spread out colonies, once a year. In great part of its distribution it nests on the ground, among the different types of vegetation. Shows preference for the fields covered with water, such as the rice plantations. Reported to also nest in holes in trees, although there is dough. The nest is cup-shaped built with grass. Laying starts before the nest is finished. Down is not added.
A full clutch is six to sixteen eggs very light cream in color. Once laying starts an egg is deposited every day. Not rare are the clutches where more than one female has participated. A clutch with 62 eggs is recorded. These excessive clutches are suspected to be where females lay because they have to, but the clutch itself is not incubated nor taken care of. The eggs of this whistling-duck have also been found in some duck’s nests.
Incubation is done by both parents and it takes from 24 to 26 days. Both parents also take care of the chicks. The young are able to fly at 63 days after hatching. They breed at one year of age. It is possible that the pair mates for life or at least the bond appears to be very strong.
Video Fulvous Tree-Duck
copyright: J. del Hoyo
The Fulvous Whistling-Duck is natural to the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania. Its distribution in North America extends as far north as the southern coastal regions of the United States; including the coasts of California, the state of Texas, the coasts of Louisiana and there is a population in the state of Florida. In Mexico it is found on the coastal zones on both oceans. During summer to the north some reach southern Canada and to the south some make it to Central America going as far as Nicaragua. It is also native in the Caribbean islands and the Bahamas.
In South America this whistling-duck is found to the north of the continent. On the western slope of the Andes it is present as far south as Peru. On the eastern slope it is found from the coast of southern Brazil to Paraguay and Bolivia, and south to northern Argentina. It is absent in the Amazon Basin. During summer some go as far north as Panama. At this time of the year some make it to central Chile and central Argentina.
In Africa it is natural in the equatorial region immediately south of the Sahara Desert. Continues south on the eastern part of the continent. It is also present on Madagascar.
In Asia it is native to India, including the island of Sri Lanka. Its presence continues to Myanmar.
There is a population in Hawaii.