Black-bellied
Whistling Ducks
BraeBurn No. 17
October 18, 2016
Because of BraeBurn’s mixed environments of open spaces, woodlands, and
lakes, we see some birds at BraeBurn that we don’t see every day near our
homes. For example, we’re fortunate to have a resident family of fabulous
Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks that live on the pond between holes 17 and
18. These ducks are distinctive in their coloration, exhibiting dark pink bills
and light pink feet, black and white wings, a brown back, and black belly.
They also exhibit a distinctive whistling as they come in for a landing on the
pond. Right now (written October, 2016), there is a family of about twelve
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks that share that pond with our very friendly
and always hungry family of warty-faced domesticated Muscovy Ducks.
The first time I saw Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, at another golf
course in Houston, a group of whistling duck adults was attentively
shepherding a large group of chicks toward a pond – Black-bellied Whistling
Ducks are dedicated parents. We in South Texas are at the northernmost
range for this duck. That range stretches south through Central America to
northern Argentina, although there are some populations of Black-bellied
Whistling Ducks in Louisiana and Florida.