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

Spotted Whistling Duck

Dendrocygna guttata

The spotted whistling duck (Dendrocygna guttata) is a member of the duck family Anatidae. It is also referred to as the "spotted tree duck". This duck resides in Indonesia, New Guinea and the Philippines, but captive populations can be found elsewhere in the world. The Spotted whistling duck is one of the smaller species in the genus Dendrocygna. This duck grows to 43-50 cm tall. Males can weigh anywhere from 590g to 650g while females weigh 610g to 860g. White spots on their flanks and breasts gave these ducks the spotted name. The sides of the neck, faces, and eyebrows are all grey. Black or dark brown coloring stretches from the crown nape to the hindneck. This dark coloring is also found in the eyepatch. Their coloring resembles a cape with a thick collar. This cape starts as a light brown then fades into a darker brown closer to the tail. Their underbelly is mostly brown, sometimes spotted, and significantly lighter than the wings and the “collar.” A white bar on the upper tail coverts can be seen during flight aiding in identification. They have dull pink legs with black webbed feet and sharp nails. The bill is dark, yet often seen with portions of red and a small white mark on the lower mandible. Spotted whistling ducks look as though they are raised from the ground, as though they are standing up tall. Their wings pressed strongly against the body. Inner vanes of the outer primaries are jagged and can be seen in flight. While flying, the head is positioned down causing the whole bird to look hunched. The tail stays pointed and looks long when in flight. Juveniles are seen with white streaks on flanks instead of spots and have significantly duller coloring. Spotted whistling ducks are visually similar to D. arborea, yet many scientists believe its closest relative is D. eytoni. After gaining their adult plumage at the age of 6 months,. the spotted whistling duck has a single annual molt. Like other ducks, swans, and geese, the spotted whistling duck molts synchronously. Synchronous molting is common within Anseriformes because waterfowl have the ability to avoid terrestrial predators. Unlike other birds, waterfowl float in ponds lakes while they molt, safe from predators. Other more evolved ducks have two molts, whistling ducks only molt once.
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A photo of a Spotted Whistling Duck photographed in Villanueva Residence Philippines
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Daniel Disalvo
Sunday 25 Jun 2023 - 1:40pm
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