Saturday, July 22, 2017

Black Bellied Whistling Ducks

Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks are my favorite ducks! I had never heard of such a duck until I moved to the Lakes at Leesburg. It was early 2017 when I first heard the cutest sound overhead. Dozens of the Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks were flying into the Lakes at Leesburg. I would see and hear them in the morning and then in the late afternoon as they flew overhead. A neighbor mentioned that they had recently been migrating into our park.

two black-bellied whistling ducks
Two Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks in Lakes at Leesburg
It was more than a month of listening to the calls and sounds of these ducks that I actually Googled "bird sounds like squeeze toy" to identify this bird. I first found the brown-headed nuthatch which I knew was not the right bird. From the ground, looking up into the sky at the duck, I knew they had a bigger body and had a reddish bill and feet.

two black-bellied whistling ducks
Two Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks in Lakes at Leesburg
I kept searching and reading people's comments about hearing such sounds and wondering what kind of bird. I initially found the site, Wild South Florida, which mentioned "it gets its name from, uh, its black belly and the fact that it sounds a lot like a squeeze toy."

two black-bellied whistling ducks
Two Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks in Lakes at Leesburg
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has the site All About Birds which is the best site for information and the calls and sounds of the Black-Bellied Whistling Duck.

two black-bellied whistling ducks
Two Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks in Lakes at Leesburg
After I tried to capture the sounds of the Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks as they flew overhead, I walked to the clubhouse where there are a couple of lakes. I was looking for confirmation that these were the ducks I had been hearing and observing overhead. I did a couple of short videos that I shared on YouTube of the flight sounds of these whistling ducks.

two black-bellied whistling ducks
Two Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks in Lakes at Leesburg
Observing the Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks in the lakes, I captured a short video of the ducks swimming and then observed these ducks grooming. What a distinct pleasure to have added the Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks to my bird-watching experiences. These ducks are so cool and very photogenic too. I hope you too have the pleasure of observing such a wonderful species!

"Since 2009, this species has now become a common breeder in Lake County, Florida, with adult pairs with offspring seen by lakes and in wetlands near Eustis, Tavares, Leesburg, and other municipalities." ~Wikipedia

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