STATUS IN THE WILD: Least Concern
RANGE: World’s Tropical Regions
PHYSICAL FEATURES AND CHARACTERISTICS
The fulvous whistling duck is a long-legged duck that is golden brown with a darker back. It has white stripes on its flanks with a long grey bill and long grey legs. They are very noisy birds with a clear whistling call. The female is slightly smaller and duller than the male. They will make shallow dives and dabble at or just below the waterline.
LIFESTYLE AND REPRODUCTION
Fulvous whistling ducks show lifelong monogamy. The females will produce twelve to sixteen eggs. They have been known to lay eggs in each other’s nests or other species’ nests. The male will not only incubate the egg but also help take care of the offspring. When they reach sexual maturity at one year the offspring leave the parents and find a mate of their own.
They have a very large range extending four continents. They can be found in lowland South America, Colombia, southern United States, West Indies, sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa, Madagascar, and India. They undertake seasonal movements in response to availability of water and food. There have been nests seen in Morocco, Peru, and Hawaii.
They prefer freshwater wetlands, especially shallow impoundments managed for rice. They also reside in flooded grasslands and pastures.
Their diet is ninety-five percent plant material. It consists of mostly seeds, aquatic plants, grasses, and a few aquatic insects. They are also fond of rice-growing areas.