17 Wandering Whistling Duck Facts You’ll Never Forget

Amazing and informative wandering whistling duck facts for kids.

The wandering whistling duck (Dendrocygna arcuata) is a waterfowl that belongs to the genus Dendrocygna, all members of the genus whistle. Though they are known as ducks, they are not true ducks. There is always an argument between ornithologists regarding placing these ducks in a group of larger waterfowl. The wandering whistling duck has other names, such as whistling tree-duck and the red whistler. The wandering whistling duck habitat range includes flooded grasslands, deep lagoons, or dams. They can walk and swim. Due to their distinctive whistling calls, they have been named whistling ducks.

This bird species loves to stay in the water. They have the quality to swim and dive well. The whistling sounds their wings make during a flight are highly pitched. Wandering whistling duck breeds in the wet season and makes its nest in long grass. Females lay 6-15 eggs at one time. The whistling bird in captivity lives more years than in the wild. They are mostly herbivore but occasionally feeds on insects and other vertebrae. These ducks are non-migratory birds, but sometimes they move locally in case of harsh weather conditions.

If you enjoyed the whistling duck facts, you might also want to check out these great green macaw facts and kea parrot facts.

Wandering Whistling Duck

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Grass, water plants, insects, aquatic vertebrae

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

6-15 eggs

How much do they weigh?

26.5 oz (750 g)

How long are they?

21.2-23.6 in (54-60 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Black, dark brown, white

Skin Type


What are their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Deep lagoons, flooded grasslands, or dams


Australia, Philippines, Indonesia, Borneo





Scientific Name

Dendrocygyna arcuata





Wandering Whistling Duck Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a wandering whistling duck?

The wandering whistling duck is a type of tree duck. They also seem like a breed between a duck and a goose.

What class of animal does a wandering whistling duck belong to?

The wandering whistling duck, also known as the red whistler duck, belongs to the Aves class of animal of the phylum Chordata. Other whistling ducks from the same genus include black-bellied whistling duck and fulvous whistling duck.

How many wandering whistling ducks are there in the world?

The wandering whistling ducks have an extensive range. The population size ranges from 200,000-2,000,000 mature individuals.

Where does a wandering whistling duck live?

Wandering whistling duck distribution range includes northern and eastern Australia, the Kimberley area, and southeast New South Wales. It is temporary in the south-east and the south-west of the nation. The wandering whistling duck lives in Papua New Guinea, tropical and subtropical Australia, the Philippines, Borneo, Indonesia, and the Pacific Island.  

What is a wandering whistling duck's habitat?

The wandering whistling duck lives in swamps, flooded grasslands, deep lagoons, grain stubbles, irrigated lands, sewerage farms, pastures, and rice fields. The duck lives in deep waters where the food is plentiful.

Who do wandering whistling ducks live with?

The wandering whistling ducks live in pairs. They mate for life. This duck species can also be seen in the flocks during forage. The flocks consist of a small number of individuals.

How long does a wandering whistling duck live?

The wandering whistling duck life span is generally between 10-15 years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of the wandering whistling ducks mainly consists of the monsoon season in the wild. However, in captivity, it is in the spring. In the northern hemisphere, breeding may happen from December to May, depending on the condition of the climate. In many regions, breeders use overhead sprinklers to imitate the rainy season to help initiate the breeding season. Females lay 6-15 eggs at one time. The nest is built in the long grasses or shrubbery near a water source. Breeders also use nest boxes which are specially designed for ducks. Adult wandering whistling ducks generally are prosperous parents. While they are breeding, breeders must take care of the mixing of species because they can hybridize with one another. Wandering whistling duck species is monogamous. They bond for life. There is not much information available regarding the incubation of the eggs and brooding of the ducklings.

What is their conservation status?

Wandering whistling ducks have a large range, which is estimated between 24,710,538 and 2,471,053,815 ac (1,00,000 and 10,000,000 sq km). The population trend has not been quantified yet. Still, it assumed not to reach the thresholds for the population drop process of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List, which is decreasing over 30% in 10 years or three generations. As a result, the wandering whistling duck species considered as Least Concern.

Wandering Whistling Duck Fun Facts

What do wandering whistling ducks look like?

The wandering whistling duck species seems like a hybrid of a goose and a duck. They possess strong, long legs, a head, a hind neck, and a neck with a deep-colored crown. The feathers on their breaks are dark brown with black spots. Wandering whistling duck range in size of between 21.2-23.6 in (54-60 cm) in length. This bird has a red-brown plumage on the entire body, with a fuller face. The crown of the head, nape, and hindneck have a dark stripe. Its bill and legs are black. The extended flank plumes are pale white with chestnut edges. During the flight, the black underwings, chestnut and cinnamon underbody, white under tail, and black legs are seen. There are many similar species of whistling duck. One of them is the plumed whistling duck (Dendrocygna eytoni) which is found in Australia. It can be distinguished from wandering whistling duck by its flank plumes. Additionally, the wandering whistling duck has a lower, more bend body posture while swimming and standing still than the other species.

The wandering whistling duck has a coloration of brown to reddish wood with some white lines on their body.

How cute are they?

They are beautiful and amusing ducks. The wandering whistling ducks are cute and attractive to watch, especially when they swim or float on water.

How do they communicate?

Wandering whistling ducks earned their name because of their loud whistling calls and the whistling sounds their wings make during flight. Their call is a high-pitched twittering or whistling. The flocks of these birds are really noisy with a continuous sounding whistle, especially during flight.

How big is a wandering whistling duck?

The wandering whistling duck (Dendrocygna arcuate) length is 21.2-23.6 in (54-60 cm), which is 10 times bigger than Mandarin duck.

How fast can a wandering whistling duck fly?

The flying speed of wandering whistling ducks (Dendrocygna arcuate) is unknown. However, they like water and barely leave the shore. The species of whistling ducks can swim and dive with ease.

How much does a wandering whistling duck weigh?

The weight of the wandering whistling duck, Dendrocygna arcuate, is 26.5 oz (750 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no separate names given to describe male and female wandering whistling ducks.

What would you call a baby wandering whistling duck?

The baby wandering whistling duck (Dendrocygna arcuata) is generally called duckling or young.

What do they eat?

Wandering whistling ducks forage in tight flocks. They feed on grasses, seeds, bulbs of rushes, and water plants. Sometimes, they also eat insects and aquatic vertebrates. Their similar duck species, known as the Australian wandering whistling ducks, generally feed on grass, seeds, insects, which is much similar to the whistling duck. Predators like raccoons, opossums, and snakes can attack unguarded eggs.

Are they dangerous?

This species of whistling ducks are non-dangerous. In fact, they are friendly and calm.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, definitely. People keep them as pets due to their beautiful plumage and shrill whistling. They are easy to keep, but they need a water source to live around.

Did you know...

The wandering whistling duck species have three subspecies-D. arcuata, D. australis, and D. pygmaea.

The meat of whistling ducks has been consumed by people in certain regions, due to the fact that they have a firm and meaty texture, which makes them good to eat.

Why are they called wandering whistling ducks?

They called so because of their loud whistling calls.

How do you attract a whistling duck?

Many breeders, owners, visitors often give corn or other food to attract a wandering whistling duck (Dendrocygna arcuata).

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these great hornbill facts and boreal chickadee facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable parrot mask coloring pages.



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