Yellow-billed Duck | Anas undulata

Arguably the most common and well recognised duck species in Southern Africa. The Yellowbilled Duck is also often referred to as the African Duck.

Robert's Birding Information: Yellowbilled Duck

African Yellowbilled Ducks in flightThe Yellow-billed Duck is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Anatidae bird family group which includes birds such as Ducks, Geese.

The description for the Yellow-billed Duck (Latin name Anas undulata) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Anas undulata can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 104 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 107. You will find a picture of the Yellow-billed Duck on page 97.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Yellow-billed Duck between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Yellow-billed Duck is known in Afrikaans as Geelbekeend.

The Yellow-billed Duck has a height of 57 cms and weighs around 965 gms. The head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured yellow. The Anas undulata has a grey coloured throat, olive legs and a black coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is grey.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is yellow.

Legs are olive.

Throat is grey.

Back is black.

Photo's & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult Yellowbilled Duck adult pair
Female Adult Same as above.
Juvenile Similar to the above.
Non Breeding Plumage N/A

Yellowbilled Duck Feeding Habits ...

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

Yellow Billed Duck Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Yellow-billed Duck is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 10 eggs and they are coloured ivory.

The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.

The Yellow-billed Duck is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks.