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Black Bellied Whistling
Tree Duck

[ Fulvous ]

[ White Face ]

[ Black Bellied ]




Also known as the Red-billed Whistling duck, this species is very popular and commonly seen in aviaries. There are two subspecies, the Northern is the subspecies most often kept in captivity. They are found from southern Texas, south into Panama. The Southern race, are native to much of South America, from Panama to Argentina. The only differences between the two subspecies, is that the latter is slightly smaller and may have more gray on the breast. Both inhabit the same habitat as the closely related Fulvous Whistling Duck, and are often seen in flocks together where their ranges overlap.

Sexes are similar as in most other members of this genus, while the females may appear slightly lighter in color. The two most distinguishing features of this species are the bright pinkish-red bill and huge pink feet. The cheeks, head and neck are gray, while the crown, forehead, breast and mantle are dark brown to chestnut. The belly and under parts are black.



In the wild and in warmer climates, the breeding season begins in April and last until October. In more northern areas, the season is much shorter, usually beginning in early May and lasting until July here in Missouri. Hens may choose to lay either on the ground in thick cover or in nest boxes, so be sure to provide both in the aviary. Clutches are large, usually numbering between 11 and 15. Incubation is done by both the male and the female and lasts about 30 days. Both parents also rear the young, which can fly at about 6 weeks. 

Sometimes incubator-raised ducklings will have trouble learning to eat, so use a "teacher" duckling or encourage them with mealworms. 


General Comments:

This particular species is also very good for beginners, but do require a secure shelter during the coldest winter months. 

Perfect for the mixed collection, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks are not trouble makers and will cause no problems to other small species. They do best when kept in small groups. 



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Black Bellied Whistling Tree Ducks

Black Bellied Whistling Tree Duck

Black Bellied Tree Duck Pair

Black Bellied Whistling Tree Duck Hen with family

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