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White-faced Duck | Dendrocygna viduata

The White-faced Duck is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Dendrocygnidae bird family group which includes birds such as Whistling Ducks.

The description for the White-faced Duck (Latin name Dendrocygna viduata) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Dendrocygna viduata can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 99 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 85. You will find a picture of the White-faced 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 White-faced Duck between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The White-faced Duck is known in Afrikaans as Nonnetjie-eend.

The White-faced Duck has a height of 48 cms and weighs around 700 gms. The head is coloured white while the bill is coloured black. The Dendrocygna viduata has a white coloured throat, blue, grey legs and a grey 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 white

Eyes are brown

Bill is black

Legs are blue, grey

Throat is white

Back is grey

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

The White-faced Duck is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage

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 .

The Dendrocygna viduata forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The White-faced 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 7 to 13 eggs and they are coloured white.

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 White-faced 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 ...

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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