Lesser Whistling-duck near Delhi Public School Tapi at Surat.
(Please wait for a few seconds while the photos load onto the gallery. This may depend on your internet speed.)
Scientific Classification: Dendrocygna javanica
Kingdom : Animalia
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Aves
Order : Anseriformes
Family : Anatidae
Subfamily : Dendrocygninae
Genus : Dendrocygna
Species : D. javanica
How to Identify this bird :
- It is very easy to identify this duck.
- It is about 42 cms long.
- Take a good look at the photo gallery above.
- Observe that it is pale brown and maroon-chestnut coloured.
- There is one other duck called the Large Whistling-duck (also called Fulvous Whistling-duck) which is similar to this but is bigger than the Lesser Whistling-Ducks. But that duck is very rare near our school so you need not worry about that.
- It has a greyish-buff head and neck.
- It has a dark brown crown.
- It has a bright chestnut patch on forewing and chestnut uppertail-coverts (feather covering the tail feathers).
- When they fly they show dark upper wing and underwing.
- They have a deep flapping flight.
- They are very noisy with much whistling.
- They will often waddle on the land and Common Mynas have been noted to follow them on grass.
Where do I find this bird :
- Lesser Whistling-ducks are found in the paddy fields and also in ponds around the villages near DPS Tapi.
- They are found in pairs or in small flocks.
- They rest on weed covered tanks and ponds during the daytime. They also feed at night.
- They are good divers and they can walk very well on marshlands digging into the mud.
- They feed on largely shoots and grain but also eat small fish, snails etc.
- They nest mainly during the monsoon between June-October.
- In the photo-gallery above you can see a family of these ducks with around 20 ducklings. This was shot in a village pond near DPS Tapi on 28th August 2015.
- They make their nest in among reeds (this is what we observed near DSP Tapi) . However, they normally make their nest in a natural tree hollow lined with twigs and grass.
Local Names :
Hindi : Seelkahi, Seelkahi
Gujarati : Nanisisoti
Bengali : Sharal
Assamese : Horali
Tamil : Chilli Thara
Malayalam : Yeranda