Wandering whistling duck

Wandering fluiteend

Wandering whistling duck (Dendrocygna arcuata australis)

The Wandering whistling duck (Dendrocygna arcuata australis) is a whistling duck from the family of water birds that includes ducks, geese, and swans (Anatidae).

Species name

Dutch name:
Wandering fluiteend
English name:
Wandering whistling duck
German name:
French name:
Dendrocygne à lunules
Scientific name:
Dendrocygna arcuata australis

Scientific classification




With rich red-brown plumage overall, with a paler face, front of neck and upper breast. There is a dark stripe on the crown of head, nape and back of neck. The bill and legs are dark. There are elongated flank plumes, which are off-white with chestnut edges. In flight, the dark underwings, cinnamon and chestnut underbody, white undertail and trailing dark legs are seen.

Similar to male. But sometimes with less elongated flank plumes.

Duller and lacking the broad pale feather edgings on the back ,so that mantle appears darker; underparts less chestnut and lacking some or all black spotting on sides of lower neck and upper chest. Chestnut on lesser wing-converts much reduced in extent and color, and entirely absent from median wing-converts. Bill, legs and feet paler grayish black.

Standard Measurements

Body Length (cm):
The male (drake) of the Wandering whistling duck measures approximately 55-60 centimeters. The female measures approximately 52-58 centimeters.
Body Weight (grams):
The male will weight about 725-950 gram. The female will weight about 710-900 gram.
The weight is notoriously variable and can only be used as indication!

There is three subspecies:

  • Dendrocygna arcuata arcuata - East Indian Wandering Whistling Duck
  • Dendrocygna arcuata australis - Australian Wandering Whistling Duck
  • Dendrocygna arcuata pygmaea - Lesser Wandering Whistling Duck

Lesser Whistling Ducks prefer a nest site near freshwater with dense vegetation nearby where their chicks can immediately reach the water after hatching. Usually in a bed of tall reeds, sometimes in a hollow log, or even an abandoned heron’s nest. They build a shallow cup of grass, on or close to the ground. They may rearrange surrounding vegetation to form a roof with a side-entrance. Sometimes they nest in trees.

The female Wandering whistling duck usually lays from 10-12 creamy white eggs and incubates them for 28-30 days.

Bird banding:
Recommended leg band size for the Wandering whistling duck is 12 mm.
The leg band can only be applied on a young whistling duck at around 0 days old.

It doesn't matter what leg that you band, but it is good to have a consistent system.
Suggested: Left leg = Female, Right leg = Male
Preferred food:
Lundi Premium
Lundi Premium
Lundi Premium
Lundi Premium
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Floating full food for all sea ducks, green ducks, eider ducks and geese, especially in the moulting and breeding phase ideally suited. Packed with wholesome raw materials, natural vitamins and trace elements, this performance food with a protein content of 30% forms the basis for lifelong vitality.

Photos of the Wandering whistling duck

Videos of the Wandering whistling duck