Fulvous whistling-duck in Uganda

Fulvous whistling-duck in Uganda

April 25, 2022

Fulvous whistling-duck is also known as Dendrocygna bicolor under Anatidae family. The Fulvous whistling-duck can be spotted around Lake Albert and Mabamba Bay in Uganda. Yes, this specie is always seen in wetlands with plentiful vegetation, including shallow lakes and paddy fields.

The plumage of the Fulvous whistling-duck is mainly reddish-brown, it has long legs and a long grey bill, and generally shows a distinctive white band across its black tail in flight.

Just like any other member of the family, it has a whistling call that is given in flight or on the ground.

Their nests are built from the plant material; in areas with dense vegetation cover or in a tree hole. The typical clutch is around 10 whitish eggs. The breeding adults, which pair for life, take turns to incubate, and the eggs hatch in a period of about 24–29 days. The downy grey ducklings leave the nest within a day or so of hatching, but the parents continue to protect them until they fledge around 9 weeks later.

This species is usually seen in small groups, but substantial flocks can form at favored sites. It walks well, without waddling, and normally feeds by upending, though it can dive in search for food. It does not often perch in trees, unlike other whistling ducks. It flies at low altitude with slow wingbeats and trailing feet, in loose flocks rather than tight formation.

It feeds during the day and at night in fairly large flocks, often with other whistling duck species, but rests or sleeps in smaller groups in the middle of the day. The Fulvous whistling-duck in Uganda feeds on seeds and other plant parts mainly found in the wetland areas. At times, the fulvous whistling-duck may feed on rice grains.

They are noisy and display their aggression towards other individuals by throwing back their heads. Before taking off in alarm, they often shake their head sideways.

Fulvous whistling-duck is classified as least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature despite the prevailing threats such as hunting by the local community as a source of food, poisoning by pesticides and natural predation by mammals, and reptiles.

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