Black-bellied Whistling Duck
These very shy ducks will take off as soon as they are aware of humans approaching. They are uncommon in the Ibera Marshes but recently we have seen flocks of around 10-12 during winter and even a few in summer. They sometimes nest in the woodland in the south of Don Luis and in 2020, they made a nest in an Araucaria tree near our ranger's house. We were amazed to see the chicks falling/flying out of the nest early in the morning, some only hours after birth. The mother then rounded up all 10 of her chicks and they disappeared in the reeds to a safe place.
Usually found in groups of two to six they are seen in flight or feeding amongst aquatic plants or sometimes in trees. Their call resembles that of the common Dendrocygna viduata but it quite distinctive with a four or five note whistle.
The most striking feature is the bright pinky red bill. The rest of the face and upper chest is grey and it has a pale eyering. The belly is black and there is a clear line between the 2 colours. It has chestnut upperparts and a white wingband that is seen in flight.
Mother and chicks