Birda Logo
A photo of a Spotted Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna guttata)
Spotted Whistling Duck

Spotted Whistling Duck

Dendrocygna guttata

The Spotted Whistling Duck, scientifically known as Dendrocygna guttata, is a charming member of the Anatidae family. This species, also known as the "spotted tree duck," is one of the smaller members of its genus, standing at a height of 43–50 cm. Males typically weigh between 590g to 650g, while females are slightly heavier, ranging from 610g to 860g. The duck's namesake comes from the distinctive white spots adorning its flanks and breast. A grey hue graces the sides of the neck, face, and eyebrows, while a darker shade, resembling a cape with a thick collar, extends from the crown nape to the hindneck and eyepatch. The underbelly is a lighter brown, sometimes spotted, contrasting with the darker wings and collar. In flight, a white bar on the upper tail coverts becomes visible, aiding in identification. The legs are a dull pink, leading to black webbed feet with sharp nails, and the bill is dark with hints of red and a small white mark on the lower mandible.

Identification Tips

When observing the Spotted Whistling Duck, look for its upright posture, as if standing tall off the ground, with wings held tightly against the body. In flight, the head is positioned downwards, giving the bird a hunched appearance, while the tail appears long and pointed. Juveniles can be identified by white streaks on their flanks instead of spots and have a generally duller coloration.


This species thrives in humid, low-altitude environments, favoring small ponds and marshes surrounded by trees. They are known to nest in tree hollows within these wooded wetlands.


The Spotted Whistling Duck is found across the Philippines, Australia, New Guinea, and several Indonesian islands. Notably, they inhabit the southern Philippines and the Eastern Lesser Sundas islands extending to New Guinea, as well as the Weipa and Iron ranges of Australia.


These ducks are sociable, often found in groups with their own kind or mingling with D. arcata. They are less vocal compared to other genus members and are known to perch on tree branches in groups. Adults are protective of juveniles, maintaining a safe distance from potential threats while shepherding the younger birds.


The Spotted Whistling Duck forms strong pair bonds, with both sexes participating in nest building and incubation. Breeding season commences in September, with nests active until April. Clutches typically contain 10-11 eggs, incubated for 18–31 days. Chicks weigh 17.5g at hatching and are observed to fly at 45–50 days old in the wild.

Diet and Feeding

Their diet consists of grass seeds, aquatic invertebrates, aquatic plants, and small fish. They feed by dabbling at the water's surface and diving, often at night. The ducks filter water through their bills and consume food underwater, resurfacing with a distinctive bounce.

Conservation status

The Spotted Whistling Duck is classified as Least Concern, with a stable population estimated between 10,000 to 25,000 individuals. However, they are particularly susceptible to avian tuberculosis, which can be fatal and has been observed to have a high mortality rate in captivity.

Interactions with Humans

While not commonly hunted, the Spotted Whistling Duck is sometimes found in captivity. Their interactions with humans are minimal, and they are not a primary target for waterfowl hunters.

App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Spotted Whistling Ducks on Birda


More Ducks, Geese, Swans

A photo of a Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) , male

Mandarin Duck

Aix galericulata
Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Dan R
Great app for bird fanatics
Great app for bird fanatics - very user friendly and a perfect place to share sightings.
Emma L
App got me interested in birding!
Super friendly community <3 This app got me interested in birding! It teaches me cool stuff and its super friendly, and fun :) The species guide is really developing my knowledge, and i love seeing cool new birds from round the world!
Louise L
Easy to use and accurate
Love this app. It is easy to use and accurate, Their backup communication is really good. I noted a missing species. All through the process, I was kept informed about the progress in correcting the information. I now have the corrected, updated version. 😁 Thanks!
Alice J
Awesome Birding Community
I absolutely love the community aspect of this app. The app is so user friendly and has fun interactive challenges to get you out birding. I’ve tried others but since I’ve started using Birda I’ve not gone back!
Safira V
Birding and wellbeing app
Birda is an excellent platform to share your love of Birding and is a great tool of encouragement for a Birding Beginner like me. Birda has a very kind and supportive community of Birding enthusiasts. For me BIRDA is not only a BIRDING but also a WELLBEING App.
We've been waiting for an App like this
Excellent! We've been waiting for an app like this! Thank you! It would be nice if you could assign additional birds to sessions later!
Carl B
Helped me to identify more birds
Love this app and has helped me to identify more birds. The challenges and badges are great for keeping the motivation going to get out and keep birding.
Nick S
Work together with community
Been loving using this app to log my bird sightings and work together with community members to identify different birds. I've already learned a lot since I started about a month ago!
Makes you want to spot birds more
I think this app is fun. It makes you want to spot birds more so I guess in a way it encourages you to get out and about instead of sitting in front of the TV.
Robred 2
Fun way to add to your birdwatching experience
I enjoy watching birds in my backyard, but this app helped me really pay attention while on vacation this summer. It was fun to add new birds to my bird watching app.
As featured in
Connect with nature,
Find your flock
Download Birda - QR Code
Β© 2024 All rights reserved