A photo of a White-backed Duck (Thalassornis leuconotus)
White-backed Duck

White-backed Duck

Thalassornis leuconotus

The white-backed duck (Thalassornis leuconotus) is a waterbird of the family Anatidae. It is the only member of the genus Thalassornis. It is distinct from all other ducks, but most closely related to the whistling ducks in the subfamily Dendrocygninae. However, it also shows some similarities to the stiff-tailed ducks in the subfamily Oxyurinae. These birds are well adapted for diving. On occasions they have been observed to stay under water for up to half a minute. They search especially for the bulbs of waterlilies, but also seeds and leaves of waterlilies and other water plants and the young feed on lake flies larvae as well. They also use diving to escape danger. There are two subspecies, Thalassornis leuconotus leuconotus and Thalassornis leuconotus insularis. The latter lives entirely on Madagascar and is considered endangered as a result of hunting, habitat loss and the introduction of competing exotic species.
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White-backed Ducks on Birda

Photos

Sightings

A map showing the sighting location
🦉
Ariadna .Sánchez
Sunday 19 Mar 2023 - 2:00pm
South Africa
A map showing the sighting location
🦢
Murray Keeton
Saturday 14 Jan 2023 - 12:40pm
South Africa
A map showing the sighting location
🦢
Murray Keeton
Saturday 14 Jan 2023 - 12:40pm
South Africa
A map showing the sighting location
🐾
Henry Symington
Saturday 03 Dec 2022 - 4:41pm
South Africa
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