• Skip to Content
  • Skip to Main Navigation
  • Skip to Local Navigation
  • Skip to Search
  • Skip to Sitemap
  • Skip to Footer
Help develop a Bird ID tool!

Fulvous Whistling-Duck

Dendrocygna bicolor ORDER: ANSERIFORMES FAMILY: ANATIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Fulvous Whistling-Duck Photo

One of the most widespread species of waterfowl in the world, the Fulvous Whistling-Duck has a limited distribution in the southern United States. Its mostly seed-based diet makes it fond of rice-growing areas.

Summer 2014Sponsored Ad
Creole TrailSponsored Ad

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
17.3–20.1 in
44–51 cm
Weight
21–34 oz
595–964 g
Other Names
  • Fulvous Tree-Duck (English)
  • Dendrocygne fauve, Millouin du Mexique (French)
  • Chiquiote, Algarabia, Pato silvon, Pato silbon, Pato amarillo, Pikike canelo (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • In some ways, whistling-ducks act more like swans than ducks. The male helps to take care of the offspring and a mated pair stays bonded for many years.
  • Pesticides applied to rice in the 1960s caused declines in Texas and Louisiana populations. Numbers have recovered and stabilized since then.
  • The Fulvous Whistling-Duck is a frequent nest parasite, laying eggs in other Fulvous Whistling-Duck nests, as well as the nests of other duck species. These other duck species often lay their eggs in Fulvous Whistling-Duck nests as well.
  • Unlike many other ducks which have elaborate courtship displays, whistling-ducks appear to have none.
  • Other than in agricultural habitats, the Fulvous Whistling-Duck nests only rarely in the United States. It started breeding in the United States only in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, nesting in rice fields.

Habitat


Marsh

  • Freshwater wetlands, especially shallow impoundments managed for rice. Also flooded grasslands and pasture.

Food


Plants

Seeds of water plants, rice, aquatic invertebrates.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Egg Description
White to buffy white.
Condition at Hatching
Downy young leave the nest soon after hatching.
Nest Description

A simple bowl in dense floating or flooded emergent vegetation.

Nest Placement

Ground

Behavior


Dabbler

No obvious courtship displays. Dabbles at and just below waterline. Makes shallow dives and tips-up. A filter-feeder, not a grazer.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Because of the duck's close association with agriculture, it risks pesticide exposure

Credits

  • Hohman, W. L., and S. A. Lee. 2001. Fulvous Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna bicolor). In The Birds of North America, No. 562 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Range Map Help

Fulvous Whistling-Duck Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings