British Waterfowl Association

Fulvous Whistling Duck

Fulvous Whistling Duck - Joe Street
head shot of Fulvous Whistling duck swimming
Fulvous Whistling Duck - Morag Jones

Dendrocygna bicolor

Fulvous Whistling Ducks are a popular choice for wildfowl collections being the hardiest of the whistling duck tribe. Although of duller plumage than some, the Fulvous Whistling Duck has a pleasing character easy to befriend.

They have a shrill double-noted whistle and are known to squeal when they take to the wing. It is a characteristic that has given them both the name of ‘Mexican Squealer’ and ‘Whistling Teal’.

Fulvous Whistling Duck occupy a wide variety of habitats from shallow lakes and swamps to ricefields. They dive readily although not particularly gracefully and are often active at night.

A group of Fulvous Whistling ducks in different colours
Natural, Champagne and Silver Fulvous Whistling Ducks - Billy Sumner

In recent years, several colour morphs have become available. The natural colour is dominant, but occasionally a pale coloured bird may pop up in a brood from normal-looking parents. This probably means that both parents had a hidden morph colour in their ancestry, and would be described as ‘split’.

Fulvous breed easily in wildfowl collections, usually ground nesting but sometimes in trees or hollows. They lay 8-16 eggs, which both parents take turns to incubate for 24-28 days.