BBWD’s are everywhere

IMG_3318The Black-bellied Whistling Ducks are everywhere these days. And, since  Black-bellied Whistling Duck takes so long to write and say, I often shorten it by just writing BBWD 😉 IMG_1402One of my favorite birds (definitely my favorite ducks), they are really fun to watch as they ‘stand guard’ in pairs and little groups. IMG_3103Unlike other ducks who spend a great deal of time swimming around in the water, the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks are very often seen along the shore, in the grass on the berms separating the ponds, or on little plant clumps in the water.IMG_0510They look like little sentries with their long legs and upright posture – even when sleeping!  And their wonderful coloring, bright pink-orange bills and feet are unmistakable.IMG_1476They often engage in comical behaviors, like this little guy who appears to be saying, “Looks like a long way down off this bridge!”

Like everyone else in the wetland preserves, the BBWD‘s are in full courting mode now, and one of their methods of showing off for potential mates “includes birds stretching their necks out horizontally, dipping their bill, and flicking water over the back.” (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-bellied_Whistling-Duck/lifehistory)

See http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/black-bellied-whistling-duck for more cool information.

IMG_3122In addition to ‘bathing’, they are often seen scooting across the water and screeching to a halt by making a sudden splashy stop near someone they want to impress! Cute as they are, they can also tend to be a little pushy to other mild-mannered birds nearby.IMG_3107For example, the BBWD above simply didn’t care for the fact that a pleasant little Pie-billed Grebe was swimming a bit  too close to him and his friends. He really chased him down in a very intimidating way, squawking and extending his neck as if to threaten the Grebe – who, by the way, took the hint and left!IMG_3140The Black-bellied Whistling Ducks really exemplify what it means to ‘stick together’. Just as they are so often seen in cozy little groups in the water or on land, there seems to be a ‘signal’ – or maybe a lead duck? – that abruptly says, “Hey, let’s all just fly somewhere else now!” once in awhile, and they all just fly off, whistling their special sound and circling the ponds in search of more fun!~

Listen here for a treat: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-bellied_Whistling-Duck/sounds

9 thoughts on “BBWD’s are everywhere

  1. I love whistling ducks!!! Yours are a different specie to ours, and also look very handsome, smart and so beautiful. I love being near them and watching and hearing them move about. They have close family connections, and it is a treat for me to see them interact. Thanks for sharing them.

  2. I agree they are different to ours, but there are similarities too – such as looking like sentries at times. They also probably spend more time on the land like your, than most of our other ducks. It must be great to see the courting happening, and I’ll look forward to seeing what the ducklings look like!

  3. You got some fabulous BBwd images here. I love them, so very cute. Last year, I capture one, which was standing on a tree. 🙂

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