Merlin Bird Graphic

Merlin Bird ID

Try our free app foriOS |  AndroidWeb version coming soon!
Recently Viewed Species

    Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

    ID Info
    Silhouette DucksDucks

    Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

    Dendrocygna autumnalis
    • ORDER: Anseriformes
    • FAMILY: Anatidae
    Basic Description

    The Black-bellied Whistling-Duck is a boisterous duck with a brilliant pink bill and an unusual, long-legged silhouette. In places like Texas and Louisiana, watch for noisy flocks of these gaudy ducks dropping into fields to forage on seeds, or loafing on golf course ponds. Listen for them, too—these ducks really do have a whistle for their call. Common south of the U.S., Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks occur in several southern states and are expanding northward.

    More ID Info
    image of range map for Black-bellied Whistling-DuckRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

    Find This Bird

    If you’re in the range of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks (and that range is expanding all the time—keep an eye on the species’ eBird map to see where they’ve been seen) you should be on the lookout for them perching around shallow ponds; walking in the short grass of lawns and golf courses; and especially in agricultural fields, where these large ducks eat lots of grain. They feed nocturnally, so watch around sunset for large flocks to begin flying out to fields from their roosts.

    Other Names
    • Pijije Alas Blancas (Spanish)
    • Dendrocygne à ventre noir (French)

    Backyard Tips

    Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks take readily to nest boxes. If you live within their range, you can make a nest box out of half-inch marine plywood. It should be about 24 inches high at the front and 20 inches at the back, with a hole about 5–6 inches in diameter (see Bolen 1967 in the Credits section of this account for full instructions).

    • Cool Facts