Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

June 4, 2015

Briefly, we enjoyed visitors to our pond today

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The Black-bellied Whistling-Duck is a boisterous duck with a brilliant pink bill and an unusual, long-legged silhouette. In places like Texas and Louisiana, watch for noisy flocks of these gaudy ducks dropping into fields to forage on seeds, or loafing on golf course ponds. Listen for them, too—these ducks really do have a whistle for their call. Common south of the U.S., Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks occur in several southern states and are expanding northward.

 

wild-ducks-060415c Resting on one leg.

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Black-bellies breed during their first year of life, establishing lifelong pair bonds during their first winter. Nest initiation occurs from April through August, a period approximately one month longer than prairie nesting ducks. Black-bellies nest in tree cavities and, similar to wood ducks, also have adapted to nesting in boxes. Where tree cavities are lacking, black-bellies will nest on the ground, often in grasses at the base of small trees or shrubs. Females lay an average of 13 eggs and both sexes incubate the eggs. Experiments have revealed that removal of either the female or the male during incubation results in abandonment of the nest. Apparently, participation of both the male and female is necessary for the nesting attempt to be successful. Black-bellies enjoy relatively high nest success rates (an average of 45 percent) compared to prairie nesting ducks. Most nest failures are caused by raccoons, rat snakes and golden-fronted woodpeckers.

wild-ducks-060415fMaybe, just maybe they will return for another visit.

Maybe, just maybe they will nest in one of our wood duck nest.

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1 Comment »

  1. I’m setting at my table eating breakfast and watching a pair of these ducks walking in my yard and them swimming in my pond!!! They have been around for several weeks now. They are so beautiful! I’m thinking I need to put a box out for them to nest in just in case they are looking for somewhere to lay eggs. It would be awesome to see some lil babies running around my yard!!!!

    Comment by Sybil Ellis — July 2, 2016 @ 9:34 am | Reply


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