Harteman Wildfowl, presented by Jan Harteman
There are no subspecies of this species, though, there are two different populations:
they live in tropical Africa (Afrotropical) and tropical South-America (Neotropical). White-faced whistling ducks can be kept very well in groups and there is a strong mating bond between both birds.
Like with all Whistling ducks, the drake and the duck look similar. Whistling ducks have short wings and in flight the long legs are visible sticking out from under the tail.
The White-faced Whistling duck eats aquatic insects, molluscs, crustaceans and plant matter such as seeds and rice. It will often dive for food. Much foraging activity takes place at night; during the day the birds roost near the water, often in flocks of several hundred. Mutual preening plays an important part in the formation of pairs and maintenance of bonds.
This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 10,000,000 km². It has a large global population estimated to be 1,400,000-2,600,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2002). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Their breeding season is during the rainy season in the wild, in captivity, they normaly breed in spring when it gets warmer.
These ducks can lay as much as 16 eggs. Hatching time is 26 - 28 days. Ring the ducklings when they are 17 days old with rings of 11 millimeters.
They have been known in Europe as ornamental birds since 1835 and they are successfully kept and bred.
Above: White-faced whistling duck preening its feathers (in slow motion)