Fun African Black Duck Facts For Kids

Martha Martins
Oct 20, 2022 By Martha Martins
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
One of the interesting African black duck facts is that it has a slate-gray bill.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.8 Min

The African black duck is a duck species endemic to the African continent, mainly the sub-Saharan Africa region. It belongs to the family Anatidae that consists of geese, swans, and ducks.

It is found near streams and rivers, but also near ponds, dams, and rocky river pools. The African black duck is a shy and territorial bird that is often observed in pairs or small flocks.

It lives for 20-30 years, mates for life in monogamous bonds, and reproduces by laying white-yellow eggs. Neck biting and diving displays are involved during courtship.

the African black duck can be very territorial and protective of its family. Its most identifiable feature is its blue-green speculum.

This black river duck is not migratory but sedentary. The African black duck species are listed under Least Concern by the IUCN, although it shows declining trends, due to habitat loss brought on by deforestation and river degradation.

For more relatable content, check out these Muscovy duck facts and harlequin duck facts for kids.

African Black Duck Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an African black duck?

The African black duck (Anas sparsa) is a bird.

What class of animal does an African black duck belong to?

The African black duck (Anas sparsa) belongs to the Aves class of animals.

How many African black ducks are there in the world?

The exact number of African black ducks in the world is unknown. This is because these birds are spread over a very large range and their current population shows a declining trend due to habitat loss and river degradation.

Where does an African black duck live?

The African black duck (Anas sparsa) is native to the sub-Saharan Africa range, mainly in the south and eastern parts. Western Equatorial Africa, southeast Nigeria, Gabon, Cameron, east Africa, South Sudan, southern Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Kenya also have an African black duck population.

What is an African black duck's habitat?

The African black duck (Anas sparsa) is found mostly in habitats with running water, like streams and rivers. This black river duck is also found near dams, ponds, and open habitats.

Remote rocky pools that occur in mountainous areas and wooded streams also see the African black duck population. In Kenya, they are seen up to elevations of 13,123 ft (4,000 m).

It is also seen feeding in shallow waters, in mud, near rocks, and aquatic vegetation.

Whom do African black ducks live with?

The African black duck is a very shy and territorial species of bird. It is mostly seen in family groups, pairs, or small flocks.

It is a very sedentary bird and does not perform long migrations but only seasonal, short movements.

How long does an African black duck live?

The African black duck lives for 20-30 years.

How do they reproduce?

African black ducks reproduce via mating and laying eggs.

The breeding season among these ducks is variable since they are spread over a large range. These birds are monogamous and are known to form strongly bonded pairs like other river ducks. There are elaborate courtship displays involved like neck biting and diving.

The single pairs nest in the proximity of flowing water, on the ground that is above flooding level. The cup-shaped nest is a hollow space in the ground made using matted driftwood. The nest is lined thickly and hidden among grass and reeds.

Four to nine buff-yellow or creamy-white eggs are laid by the females in the nest. Incubation is done by the females alone for 28-32 days, during which the males stand guard.

Soon after hatching, the chicks leave the nest and are led to the water by their mothers. The chicks are protected by the females by keeping them under the cover of vegetation and the males accompany them too. They fly and become independent at the age of 75-77 days.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the African black duck species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature is of Least Concern.

African Black Duck Fun Facts

What do African black ducks look like?

The African black duck has a blue-green speculum.

The African black duck has an overall black to dark sooty-brown plumage. It has white & barred scapulars, upper-tail coverts, and tertials.

The blue-green speculum is a prominent feature that is very apparent in flight. The speculum has a white and black frame both below and above. Their tail is long and displays two narrow white bars that have been formed by two white spot rows.

The belly of the African black duck is slightly mottled and browner. The flanks also have variable whitish bars. The underwing coverts are brown and the axillaries appear white. It also has a slate-gray bill with a pink base, and a culmen and a nail that are partially black.

The webbed feet and legs tend to be a brownish-orange to a brownish-yellow and the eyes happen to be dark-brown. Each wing has a noticeable carpal spur. The female is smaller and lighter than the male but has similar plumage.

At the time of hatching, the chick is black from above and buffy-white from below. The chick also has yellow spots on its back and a white collar on the upper part of its breast.

The bill of the chick is black. The juvenile is much browner than the adults and has less conspicuous barring on its upper parts that are buff-colored. The juvenile also has a whitish belly and a dark-gray bill.

How cute are they?

African black ducks are very beautiful creatures. These birds are a gorgeous dark brown color with a crowning blue-green speculum. They also have white bars on their wings that look like strokes made by a painter. They are also familial birds that mate for life and are protective of their ducklings.

How do they communicate?

African black ducks communicate via calls. They produce an in-flight 'quack'. Both the sexes are vocal on land and in water.

The male call is a high-pitched and weak 'weep' that occurs in a repetitive series. The contact call of the female is also a repetitive quack. Courtship displays are accompanied by whistles and weak and wheezy 'peep' calls from the male.

How big is an African black duck?

The African black duck is 19-23 in (48.3-58.4 cm) long which makes it four times bigger than the seaside sparrow and twice as big as common kingfishers.

How fast can an African black duck run?

African black ducks may run as fast as 8 mph (13 kph).

Being waterfowls, their flight speeds are much more impressive at 40-60 mph (64.4-96.6 kph)

How much does an African black duck weigh?

The African black duck weighs 1.7-2.4 lb (760-1,085 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male of the African black duck species is called a drake and the female is called a duck or hen.

What would you call a baby African black duck?

A baby African black duck is called a duckling.

What do they eat?

African black ducks eat anything from aquatic insects, crustaceans, crabs, small fish, seeds, aquatic vegetation, berries, acorns, and grains crops.

They, and their chicks and eggs, may get preyed upon by peregrine falcons, snakes, bass, crocodiles, and herons.

Are they dangerous?

African black ducks are not dangerous to humans. The first instinct of these wild birds might be to fly away when close to a human. They may get protective of their children and eggs however and chase someone away from them.

Would they make a good pet?

 They are a wild and territorial species spread over an expansive habitat range that is seeing a decline. Their wild habitats need to be preserved. Therefore, not appropriate as pets.

Did you know...

There are three black ducks in total, the American black duck, the African black duck, and the Pacific black duck.

What is the difference between a black duck and a mallard?

A black duck is darker than a mallard. A mallard has a white patch on its belly and it also has a whitish tail that the black duck does not.

The head of the black duck is darker and grayer than that of the mallard. The speculum of the mallard is blue and has a white line on both, the top and the bottom edge, whereas the black duck has a speculum that is blue to purple in color.

Are there ducks in Africa?

Yes, there are many duck species in Africa, about 15 of them. They include the white-faced whistling duck, fulvous whistling duck, white-backed duck, knob-billed duck, Hartlaub's duck, wood duck, Mandarin duck, African black duck, yellow-billed duck, red-billed duck, ring-necked duck, tufted duck, ruddy duck, white-headed duck, and the Maccoa duck.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our vermilion flycatcher facts and chipping sparrow fun facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable african black duck coloring pages.

sub-saharan africa south africa Sudan equatorial africa Cameroon nigeria Gabon ethiopia

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Written by Martha Martins

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha Martins picture

Martha MartinsBachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha is a full-time creative writer, content strategist, and aspiring screenwriter who communicates complex thoughts and ideas effectively. She has completed her Bachelor's in Linguistics from Nasarawa State University. As an enthusiast of public relations and communication, Martha is well-prepared to substantially impact your organization as your next content writer and strategist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to delivering high-quality work enables her to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

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