White-backed duck in Uganda

White-backed duck in Uganda

April 25, 2022

White-backed duck is also known as Thalassornis leuconotus and the specie is under Anatidae family. The White-backed duck can be seen in Queen Elizabeth national park, Ntungamo region, and Mabamba Bay in Uganda. And yes, small groups are found on pans and pools with growing aquatic vegetation, especially waterlilies.

There are two subspecies, Thalassornis leuconotus leuconotus and Thalassornis leuconotus insularis. The latter lives entirely in Madagascar and is considered endangered due to hunting, habitat loss, and the introduction of competing exotic species.

These birds are well adapted for diving. On occasions, the White-backed ducks in Uganda can be seen diving in the water for like half a minute for reasons like searching for the bulbs of waterlilies, but also seeds and leaves of waterlilies and other water plants and the young feed on lake flies and larvae as well.

The White-backed duck is smallish, tawny, bulbous-headed duck that sits low in wetlands of Uganda.  The tail often flushes with the surface and this gives this specie a very distinctive appearance. If you look at this specie very critically, the white patch at the base of the bill is diagnostic and the namesake white back is usually seen only during flight.

In most cases, the White-backed duck is quiet but at times it gives a squeaky-toy-like “swit-swit” whistle.

The white-backed duck can escape from danger preferentially by diving; hence, the namesake white back is hardly visible in life.

The white-backed duck is among the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

Today, Uganda is launched as Africa’s bird watching capital because the country hosts about 1078 species of birds. And this constitutes about 60% of the Birds in Africa and 11% of the world’s bird population. The endless juicy checklist has made Uganda a top-rated birding destination in Arica.

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

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