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Aves > Anseriformes > Anatidae > Dendrocygna

Dendrocygna bicolor (Vieillot, 1816) – Fulvous Whistling Duck

Taxonomic Notes:

Alternative Common Names: Large Whistling Teal, Large Whistling Duck, Fulvous Tree Duck, Fulvous Duck, Fulvous Whistle-Duck.

Old Taxonomy: Anas bicolor Viellot, 1816.



Breeding season: June to October

Nest: Nests constructed of sticks roughly put together in hollows in old tree-trunk or in forks of large branches, at moderate height also in dense floating or flooded emergent vegetation of Typha species reeds.

6-8, Bluntly ovate to oval. Color white to buffy white. Shell flat to glossy with minute pitting. Average size of 50 eggs 56.6 x 42.9 mm.
Indian and global distribution:
records (based on images):

Size- Medium-sized duck. 45–53 cm; Wingspan 207-211mm

Distinguishing characters:

 Ferruginous, blackish brown back, wings, and tail that contrasts with ivory, buff-streaked flanks, light-buff to whitish upper and lower tail-coverts, and tawny-cinnamon underparts. Diffused rusty-whitish collar round middle of the foreneck. Iris light to dark brown. Beak is dusky black with bluish slate of varying extent at base. Legs and feet pale are dusky plumbeous or bluish slate to nearly black, Claws are black.

Young/Immatures: Look duller than adults, the chestnut-cinnamon parts are paler or brownish.

Similar Species in India:
This spcies is similar to Lesser Whistling Duck except the 
rusty-whitish collar and buff-streaked flank of Fulvous Whistling Duck.

Sexual, seasonal & individual variation:

This species is not sexually dimorphic although female is slightly smaller than male. The plumage remains same across different seasons, and there is no distinguishable individual variation in this species. 
Status, Habitat and Habits:

This species is common in the eastern part of India. It inhabits various types of marshy habitats and swamps in open, flat terrain, including both freshwater and brackish wetlands, generally associated with tall-grass. Seen in small flocks.

Foraging Behaviour: Feeds on aquatic plant seeds, aquatic invertebrates.

Call/Song: Frequently gives descending whistled calls with a faltered beginning. Males sound wheezier, females more nasal and squeakier.

Migration Status:

IUCN Status: Least Concern 
1. Rasmussen, P. C., and J. C. Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Washington, DC.

2. Ali, S., and S. D. Ripley. 1978. Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan: Together with those of Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and Ceylon (Vol. 1). Oxford University Press.

3. Stuart Baker, E. C. 1933. The Nidification of Birds of the Indian Empire. Taylor And Francis, London.

4. BirdLife International. 2016. Dendrocygna bicolorThe IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22679746A92827620. 

Aves > Anseriformes > Anatidae > Dendrocygna

Cite this page along with its URL as:
Satose, V., and A. Bayani. 2023. Dendrocygna bicolor (Vieillot, 1816) – Fulvous Whistling Duck. Satose, V., A. Bayani, V. Ramachandran, P. Roy, and K. Kunte (Chief Editors). Birds of India, v. 2.17. Indian Foundation for Butterflies.
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