Knob-billed duck in Uganda

Knob-billed duck in Uganda

April 25, 2022

Knob-billed duck is also known as Sarkidiornis melanotos under Anatidae family. The Knob-billed duck in Uganda can be seen in Murchison falls national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, and some parts of Rukungiri. Other East African birding destinations where to spot the knob-billed duck include; Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve, Lake Nakuru national park, and Amboseli National Park in Kenya. These species are generally found in freshwater rivers, lakes, and marshes.

The Knob-billed duck is a large bicolored waterbird. Both the male and the female bird is iridescent purplish-green above with a white or buffy breast. However, males have gray flanks, a whitish belly, and a large black lump while the female Knob-billed duck has a plain bill and gray flanks.

The male is much larger in size than the female and has a large black knob on the bill.

Young Knob-billed ducks have dull buff below and on the face and neck, with dull brown upperparts, top of the head, and eye stripe.

The immature knob-billed duck looks like a large greyish female of the cotton pygmy goose (Nettapus coromandelicus) and may be very difficult to distinguish both species if no other birds are around to compare size and hue. However, knob-billed ducks in immature plumage are rare to be seen without adults nearby, and thus they are usually easily identified too.

The knob-billed duck in Uganda is silent except for a low croak when flushed.

The Knob-billed duck breeds in freshwater swamps and lakes of Uganda and it is largely resident, apart from dispersion in the wet season.

This duck feeds on vegetation by grazing or dabbling and to a lesser extent on small fish, invertebrates, and seeds.

The knob-billed duck is declining in numbers in Uganda, but due to its wide range, it is not considered globally threatened by the IUCN but it is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds applies.

Book your Uganda birding trip with Africa Adventure Vacations to spot several bird species.

error: Content is protected !!


Click one of our Safari Expert below to chat on WhatsApp or send us an email to

× How can I help you?