White-faced whistling duck

Dendrocygna viduata

White-faced whistling ducks live throughout South America, sub-Saharan Africa and parts of the Caribbean and Central America.

White-faced whistling duck behavior and facts

  • White-faced whistling ducks are named for their high-pitched whistling calls.
  • Unlike most waterfowl, white-faced whistling ducks often perch in branches and are known as tree ducks.
  • When alarmed, these ducks stand straight and freeze.
  • They feed on grass, seeds, and aquatic mollusks.
  • Adult white-faced whistling ducks have a black and white head and a reddish chestnut brown breast.
  • Breeding begins at the start of the rainy season.
  • After breeding, white-faced whistling ducks undergo a flightless molt period that lasts from 18-25 days.

From birth to death

  • The nest of the white-faced whistling duck is a simple depression in the ground amongst tall grass or reed beds.
  • They nest in solitary pairs, small groups or loose colonies.
  • White-faced whistling ducks lay a clutch of 4-13 eggs that are incubated for 26-28 days.
  • Chicks leave the nest and fledge eight weeks after hatching.

Vital statistics

  • Length: 14-18 inches
  • Weight: 1-2 pounds


IUCN Least concern

White-faced whistling ducks, the Oregon Zoo and you

The zoo's white-faced whistling ducks live in the Africa Rainforest Aviary.