Lesser Whistling-duck

Lesser Whistling Duck

Lesser Whistling-duck near Delhi Public School Tapi at Surat.
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Scientific Classification: Dendrocygna javanica

Classification :

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