Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

Erika and I have seen Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks during previous visits to Rockport, Texas, but they seemed down-right abundant in mid-March. This observation is perhaps not too surprising, since, unlike sedentary Latin American populations, northern birds are migratory. Our previous trips were earlier in the year.

I usually call whistling-ducks by an older name, tree-ducks. Black-bellied Tree-Ducks are more arboreal than other whistling-ducks, and often nest in tree cavities or duck boxes. This species appears to be moving northward from its haunts in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Florida, and Arizona, with recent records from South Dakota, Minnesota, Ontario and elsewhere.

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