Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

Black-bellied Whistling-ducks flying

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks are medium to large-sized ducks. They are quite recognizable with their bright red bill, gray face and throat, reddish-brown neck, breast and back, and pink legs.

Their white wing patch is easily seen during flight. Juveniles have gray coloring on their bills and underneath their body. 

  • Dendrocygna autumnalis
  • Length: 18 – 21 in (46 – 53 cm)
  • Weight: 28.8 oz (816 g)
  • Wingspan: 34 – 36 in (86 – 91 cm)


Black-bellied Whistling ducks are only found in a few areas of southern states near the Mexican border. They predominantly live all year in Mexico, Central America, and South America.

Habitat And Diet

You can find Black-bellied Whistling Ducks near shallow freshwater ponds and lakes, golf courses, farmlands, and marshes. 

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks roam their favorite food spots at night. They mostly eat seeds from grasses and grain from cultivated lands. They will eat insects and other water creatures when they find them, usually by scouring through the shallow water’s surface. 

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck Calls:

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck – group calls

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck – individual


Nests of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks can be found in hollows of trees or on the ground. Since they are comfortable around humans, they may also, on occasion, build nests in abandoned buildings or nest boxes.  

The female can lay as many as sixteen eggs. Both parents take turns incubating the eggs for as many as twenty-eight days. The young are capable of flight at around fifty-six days, but they don’t leave their parents until after one hundred and fifty days.

Fun Fact:

They were formerly called Black-bellied Tree Ducks as they’re known for perching in trees.