Grass (Plumed) Whistling Duck Family – Video

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
(Psalms 23:6 KJV)

Bellamoonnature produced this.

What he posted:

AMAZING FAMILY OF 18 •❥ Feeling excited, the first time I noticed these ducklings cuddled together in the grass… I thought maybe there were 8 or 9 fluffy, beautiful ducklings. When they all popped up to the count of (16) I was amazed… I’d never seen so many in one clutch. They quickly trusted me, therefore becoming part of my treasured extended feathered family.

Every afternoon, I would find them huddled together under the trees, waiting for their daily delivery of wild bird mix, that I was thrilled to deliver. It was truly heartening to see them all survive, and fly around our lakes as one. Eventually, the whistler ducks leave, before returning about six months later. They have all just returned to our local lakes… I wonder if my precious ‘family of 18’ are amongst them?

♥ GRASS WHISTLING DUCK •❥ The plumed whistling duck also called the grass whistling duck, with it’s loud sibilant whistle… is one of two whistling or tree ducks found in Australia. During the day the plumed Whistling-Duck congregates in large numbers with other waterfowl, on the margins of lagoons, swamps and mangrove creeks, for preening and sleeping. At night they fly out, often quite long distances, to feed on grasslands.

Music: Arms of Heaven By Aakash Gandhi

Free to use music from the YouTube Audio Library

We have seen the Plumed Whistling Duck at Zoo Miami. They are really neat to watch. Their feathers are interesting.


Plumed Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna eytoni) by Lee Zoo Miami

If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. (John 12:26 KJV)


Sunday Inspiration – Whistling, White-backed Ducks, and Geese

Black-bellied Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) at Palm Beach Zoo by Lee

Black-bellied Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) at Palm Beach Zoo by Lee

 “And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier-eagle,” (Leviticus 11:18)

I have always enjoyed trying to whistle and today we lead off our latest Family, the Anatidae, in the Answeriformes Order. The Anatidae family has ducks, geese, swans, and a few others that add up to 173 species. The Whistling Ducks do make a whistling sound, which I notice more when they are flying. We have the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks here locally. In fact, some hang out at the pond in our housing area.

Anat Black-bellied Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) by Lee at Palm Beach Zoo

Black-bellied Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) by Lee at Palm Beach Zoo

Audio of a Black-bellied Whistling Duck from xeno-canto.

The Anatidae are the biological family of birds that includes ducks, geese, and swans. The family has a cosmopolitan distribution, occurring on all the world’s continents. These birds are adapted for swimming, floating on the water surface, and in some cases diving in at least shallow water. (The magpie goose is no longer considered to be part of the Anatidae, but is placed in its own family

They are generally herbivorous, and are monogamous breeders. A number of species undertake annual migrations. A few species have been domesticated for agriculture, and many others are hunted for food and recreation. Five species have become extinct since 1600, and many more are threatened with extinction.

White-faced Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna viduata) ©WikiC

White-faced Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna viduata) ©WikiC

Whistling ducks are found in the tropics and subtropics. As their name implies, they have distinctive whistling calls. The whistling ducks have long legs and necks, and are very gregarious, flying to and from night-time roosts in large flocks. Both sexes have the same plumage, and all have a hunched appearance and black underwings in flight.

White-backed Duck (Thalassornis leuconotus) ©WikiC

White-backed Duck (Thalassornis leuconotus) ©WikiC

The white-backed duck (Thalassornis leuconotus) is a waterbird of the family Anatidae. It is distinct from all other ducks, but most closely related to the whistling ducks in the subfamily Dendrocygninae, though also showing some similarities to the stiff-tailed ducks in the subfamily Oxyurinae. It is the only member of the genus Thalassornis.

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. From danger, they also escape preferentially by diving; hence, the namesake white back is hardly visible in life. (Information from Wikipedia)

Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis) by Ian 2

Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis) by Ian

The black geese of the genus Branta are waterfowl belonging to the true geese and swans subfamily Anserinae. They occur in the northern coastal regions of the Palearctic and all over North America, migrating to more southernly coasts in winter, and as resident birds in the Hawaiian Islands. Alone in the Southern Hemisphere, a self-sustaining feral population derived from introduced Canada geese is also found in New Zealand.

The scientific name Branta is a Latinised form of Old Norse Brandgás, “burnt (black) goose). The black geese derive their vernacular name for the prominent areas of black coloration found in all species. They can be distinguished from all other true geese by their legs and feet, which are black or very dark grey. Furthermore, they have black bills and large areas of black on the head and neck, with white (ochre in one species) markings that can be used to tell apart most species.[note 1] As with most geese, their undertail and uppertail coverts are white. They are also on average smaller than other geese, though some very large taxa are known, which rival the swan goose and the black-necked swan in size.

Nene (Branta sandvicensis) ©WikiC

Nene (Branta sandvicensis) ©WikiC

The Nene (Branta sandvicensis), also known as nēnē and Hawaiian goose, is a species of goose endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. The official bird of the state of Hawaiʻi, the nene is exclusively found in the wild on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauaʻi, Molokai, and Hawaiʻi. The Hawaiian name nēnē comes from its soft call. The species name sandvicensis refers to the Sandwich Islands, an old name for the Hawaiian Islands. (Above information from Wikipedia)

The first two photos show how the different zoos call the same bird by different names. This is why the scientific name is very important. Also, Dan and I have been fortunate to have seen most of these birds either in the wild or in zoos. It is always a joy to watch the Lord’s Creations in person.

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I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees: (Ecclesiastes 2:6)

In those pools of water, most likely you will find one of these.

“I’d Rather Have Jesus” ~ by Faith Baptist Orchestra*



Anatidae – Ducks, Geese & Swans Family

Falling Plates



Birds of the Bible – Whistling Ducks

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks forming V

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks forming V

We keep encountering Whistling Ducks as we visit the zoos and as we go birdwatching, especially at Circle B Bar Reserve. There we get to see the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks quite frequently. At Palm Beach Zoo, I got tickled at the feet of the Black-bellieds. This week at Lowry Park Zoo, we took photos of their Spotted Whistling Duck which are fairly new residents.

Spotted Whistling Duck by Lee at LPZ Cropped

Spotted Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna guttata) by Lee at LPZ

I checked the e-Sword Bible program and can not find any “Ducks” or “Waterfowl” in Scripture by name, only in references to all birds being created, etc. They are still neatly created birds and are a joy to watch.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck Feet by Lee at PB Zoo

Black-bellied Whistling Duck Feet by Lee at PB Zoo

There are three verses that refer to a “whistle” and in all of them it is the Lord who is doing the whistling.

He will lift up a banner to the nations from afar, And will whistle to them from the end of the earth; Surely they shall come with speed, swiftly. (Isaiah 5:26 NKJV) (For judgment)

And it shall come to pass in that day That the LORD will whistle for the fly That is in the farthest part of the rivers of Egypt, And for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. (Isaiah 7:18 NKJV) (For judgment)

I will whistle for them and gather them, For I will redeem them; And they shall increase as they once increased. (Zechariah 10:8 NKJV) (for redemption)

Whistling ducks are found in the tropics and subtropics. As their name implies, they have distinctive whistling calls. The whistling ducks have long legs and necks, and are very gregarious, flying to and from night-time roosts in large flocks. Both sexes have the same plumage, and all have a hunched appearance and black underwings in flight.

The first whistling ducks were described by Carl Linnaeus in the 10th edition of Systema Naturae in 1758: the Black-bellied Whistling Duck (then Anas autumnalis) and the West Indian Whistling Duck (then Anas arborea). In 1837, William John Swainson named the genus Dendrocygna to distinguish whistling ducks from the other waterfowl.

The whistling ducks or tree ducks are a subfamily, Dendrocygninae of the duck, goose and swan family of birds, Anatidae. They are not true ducks. In other taxonomic schemes, they are either considered a separate family Dendrocygnidae, or a tribe Dendrocygnini in the goose subfamily Anserinae. The subfamily has one genus, Dendrocygna, which contains eight living species, and one undescribed extinct species from Aitutaki of the Cook Islands.

The eight species of whistling duck are currently recognized in the genus Dendrocygna. However, Johnsgard considers the White-backed Duck (Thalassornis leuconotus) from Africa and Madagascar to be distinct ninth species, a view first proposed in 1960 and initially supported by behavioral similarities. Later, similarities in anatomy, duckling vocalizations, and feather proteins gave additional support. Molecular analysis in 2009 also suggested that the White-backed Duck was nested within the whistling duck clade. (Wikipedia with editing)

White-faced Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna viduata) by Dan

Black-bellied Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis)

Spotted Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna guttata) by Ian

West Indian Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna arborea)

Fulvous Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna bicolor)

Plumed Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna eytoni) Zoo Miami’s by Dan

Wandering Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna arcuata) – Video by Nick

Lesser Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna javanica) Zoo Miami’s by Dan

White-backed Duck (Thalassornis leuconotus) ©WikiC

(All sounds are from xeno-canto, but they didn’t have an audio for the White-backed Duck)


Anatidae – Ducks, Geese & Swans Family Page

Wikipedia’s pages for the Whistling Ducks and the White-backed Duck


Ian’s Bird of the Week – Spotted Whistling Duck

Spotted Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna guttata) by Ian

Spotted Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna guttata) by Ian

Newsletter – 12/3/2009

Another late bird of the week, I regret, as I’ve just returned from a ten day trip to Cape York, not famous for its internet facilities, or any facilities for that matter. I’m home now and will play catch-up with another bird of (this) week over the next few days.

Australia is rather isolated geographically, so colonisation by a new species of bird is an unusual event. Such an event is most likely to occur on Cape York Peninsula, which is within island-hopping distance of New Guinea. The Spotted Whistling Duck, a common bird in New Guinea, was first recorded at Weipa on the western side of the peninsula in 14 years ago. It now occurs also in the Lockhart River district on the eastern side at about the same latitude as Weipa and this is where we came across a party of 4 last Monday. It will be interesting to see if it gets more widely established in Northern Australia.

Unlike the other two Australian Whistling-Ducks (Plumed and Wandering), the Spotted lacks side plumes and is easily recognisable by conspicuous white spots with black borders on the flanks. Globally, there are eight species of Whistling Ducks, all belonging to the genus Dendrocygna, with tropical and sub-tropical ranges in Australia, Asia, Africa and the Americas. The Plumed is endemic to Australia, while the Wandering also occurs in New Guinea, Indonesia, Borneo and the Philippines.

Website links:
Plumed Whistling-Duck
Wandering Whistling-Duck

Best wishes,

Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Phone: +61-7 4751 3115
Preferred Email:

Lee’s Addition:
Thanks, Ian, those Whistling Ducks are neat. We don’t get to see those here in Florida, of course, but we do get to see lots of Black-bellied and Fulvous Whistling Ducks. The other three Whistlers are the White-faced, West Indian and the Lesser Whistling Ducks.

I will whistle for them and gather them, For I will redeem them; And they shall increase as they once increased. (Zechariah 10:8 NKJV)

The Whistling Ducks are part of the Anatidae Family within the Anseriformes Order.

Here are photos of all eight Whistling Ducks

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