Harteman Wildfowl, presented by Jan Harteman

West-Indian whistling duck (West-Indian tree duck)

Dendrocygna arborea

Cuba fluiteend / Kuba pfeifgans / Dendrocygne des Antilles

 

The West-Indian whistling duck, also known as Cuban whistling duck, is the largest of all whistling ducks. The West-Indian Whistling ducks, however, only have a small spreading area compared to the others whistling ducks. They mainly live on the Bahamas and other islands in the Carribean. And even in these areas they are rare. They live in territories with much water and many trees. They feed on various sorts of berries, seed, grain and dates, too, but they also visit ricefields to look for food such as rice and insects. West-Indian Whistling ducks, like all other whistling ducks, live in (small) groups. These ducks will not be found in captivity as often as for instance White-faced whistling ducks (Dendrocygna viduata) and Fulvous whistling ducks (Dendrocygna bicolor).

 

These whistling ducks may breed from summer to fall. The female lays 8 up to 12 eggs which will hatch after 30 days of incubation. Ring the ducklings when 15 days old with rings of 13 milimeters.

 

This species qualifies as Vulnerable by the IUCN (2004) because it has a small and severely fragmented occupied range. Habitat loss and degradation continue to reduce the area, extent and quality of remaining habitat, with some sites disappearing altogether.

 

West-Indian whistling duck

Above: adult West Indian whistling duck

 

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Above: adult West Indian whistling duck

 

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Above: three West Indian whistling ducks and Caribbean flamingos

 

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Above: West Indian whistling ducks and a Black-necked stilt in the background

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