Fun Spotted Whistling Duck Facts For Kids

Ritwik Bhuyan
Oct 20, 2022 By Ritwik Bhuyan
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Spotted whistling duck facts about a bird species that is among eight different species of tree ducks or whistling ducks of the genus Dendrocygna.

The spotted whistling duck (Dendrocygna guttata) is a species of whistling ducks that originated from Southeast Asia. As the name suggests, they are known to make a whistling sound.

But the bird species is not only restricted to these sounds as they also make a whirring noise when in flight.

The bird is also known to actively seek out our company and have an endearing personality. However, they are not quite as hardy as other bird species of the same genus and because of this reason, they are not very commonly seen as pets.

A member of the Anatidae family, genus Dendrocygna consists of different species of tree ducks and whistling ducks. They are not considered true ducks.

The spotted whistling duck (Dendrocygna guttata) has a large range of habitats and this means that the population is quite large and well distributed. Almost 25,000 individuals of these birds can be found currently all over the world.

For more relatable content, check out the facts about the great green macaw and the night parrot.

Spotted Whistling Duck Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a spotted whistling duck?

The spotted whistling duck (Dendrocygna guttata) is a species of duck native to Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

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

These birds fall under the class of Aves in the kingdom of Animalia.

How many spotted whistling ducks are there in the world?

The population of the spotted whistling duck (Dendrocygna guttata) species is found to be around 6700-17000 currently distributed over an area of 2,173,755 mi2 (5,630,000 km2). The birds are not endemic to a particular region.

Where does a spotted whistling duck live?

The spotted whistling duck (Dendrocygna guttata) is evenly distributed in the southern Philippines, New Guinea, and Wallacea. A small number of these birds have recently been seen in the town of Weipa of Australia.

Weipa is on the western coast of Cape York Peninsula. These birds are said to have originated from southeastern Asian countries of the Philippines, Indonesia, and New Guinea. They are the most common wildfowl and are well distributed in New Guinea.

What is a spotted whistling duck's habitat?

The spotted whistling duck habitat consists of freshwater wetlands and marshes. It is found in shaded grassy banks and scattered trees along the coast. This enables the ducks to perch over water. They are also found in partly submerged logs of waterside trees and vegetation on top of water bodies.

There is not much information about the spotted whistling duck migration. The bird needs to be housed indoors during the winter season and should be given enough heat during the harsh weather seasons.

Who do spotted whistling ducks live with?

They do not form very large groups like other waterfowls. But sometimes are seen in large concentrations mixed with other duck species. Even in captivity, the bird is found to make pairs and live in aviaries with other duck species. However, they are often seen being aggressive to other whistling ducks.

How long does a spotted whistling duck live?

The spotted whistling duck life span ranges up to 15 years in captivity. These ducks' lifespan in the wild is unknown.

How do they reproduce?

The spotted whistling duck (Dendrocygna guttata) is arboreal and is seen nesting in hollow tree trunks near water. There can be more than one clutch per year. The pairs have strong bonds.

An average of 10-12 white, round eggs are laid by the females and incubated by both parents. The incubation period is 28-31 days.

The ducklings can leave the nest easily with their sharp nails and stiff tails. They are fully feathered in seven weeks and the fledging period is eight weeks. The ducklings receive adult plumage in a year and reach sexual maturity in two years.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the spotted whistling duck (Dendrocygna guttata) is categorized as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List. The population is not at risk and is quite stable in their regions of occurrence of Philippines, Indonesia, New Guinea, and Australia.

Spotted Whistling Duck Fun Facts

What do spotted whistling ducks look like?

The spotted whistling duck (Dendrocygna guttata) resembles the plumed whistling duck and West Indian whistling duck. The spotted whistling duck is brown in color with a pale gray throat and a white belly. Underparts of the bird are lighter than the upperparts and the feathers have light red-brown edges.

It has pale whitish spots on the neck, breast, and flanks. The birds have a pinkish coloration to the otherwise dark gray beak, legs, and feet. A dark crest, small in size, can be seen raised when the waterfowl is excited.

Males and females look the same. Juveniles do not have prominent white spots like adults. They are darker in color.

Fulvous Whistling Duck in water

*Please note that this is an image of a Fulvous Whistling-Duck, not a Spotted Whistling Duck specifically. If you have an image of a Spotted Whistling Duck, then please let us know at

How cute are they?

Ducks are considered pretty cute because of their habits and also the beautiful plumage.

How do they communicate?

Communication is achieved by repeated, low whistling sounds.

How big is a spotted whistling duck?

The length of the spotted whistling duck (Dendrocygna guttata) ranges from 16.9-19.6 in (43-50 cm). They have a wingspan of 33.4-37.4 in (85-95 cm).

The male spotted whistling duck size is similar to the female species. The length of one of the largest ducks found in the world, the Muscovy duck, with its range of habitat limited to Mexico and Central and South America ranges from 26-33 in (66-84 cm).

How fast can a spotted whistling duck fly?

The speed of the spotted whistling duck (Dendrocygna guttata) is unknown. However, they are pretty quick and often seen flying to and from feeding zones. They make whirring sounds while flying which makes the birds pretty recognizable.

How much does a spotted whistling duck weigh?

The weight of the spotted whistling duck (Dendrocygna guttata) ranges up to 1.76 lb (800 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Males and females of the spotted whistling duck (Dendrocygna guttata) are not given different names.

What would you call a baby spotted whistling duck?

A baby spotted whistling duck (Dendrocygna guttata) is called a chick or a duckling.

What do they eat?

The diet of the spotted whistling duck (Dendrocygna guttata) consists of different aquatic plants, grasses, plant seeds, aquatic invertebrates, and small fish. Predators include birds of prey and snakes.

Are they dangerous?

The bird in this family is not at all dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

These waterfowl are kept as pets and are somewhat popular in captivity too. However, they are a little aggressive when kept with other species of the same genera. As pets, their diet consists of different waterfowl food, green plant materials, insects, and worms, giving them different vitamins and minerals.

Did you know...

The bird is known for its ability to swim underwater for a longer period of time. The spotted whistling duck (Dendrocygna guttata) can swim underwater for up to 20 seconds.

The spotted whistling duck (Dendrocygna guttata) is known to form very strong bonds in pairs. They probably mate for life.

They can lay up to 16 eggs at a time.

How many types of whistling ducks are there?

This duck is a member of the family of Anatidae which constitutes different species of ducks, geese, and swans. The genus Dendrocygna has eight living species of whistling ducks.

The species spotted whistling duck is a member of the same genus. There is also an undescribed extinct species in the same genus of the birds.

Many of the known whistling ducks like the wandering whistling duck and the plumed whistling duck are found exclusively in Australia. The fulvous whistling duck is found in Africa, the American continent, and the Indian subcontinent.

Are whistling ducks good to eat?

As the population of the whistling duck species found worldwide is growing and quite stable at the moment, they are consumed in many parts all over the globe. Their meat is considered quite similar to red meat and is quite tender and moist with flavorful fat.

They are similar to any other duck in the world and the cooking methods are similar too. The ducks do not taste anything like the chicken that the world consumes in large numbers every day.

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 rhinoceros hornbill facts and boreal chickadee facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our Spotted Whistling Duck coloring pages.

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Written by Ritwik Bhuyan

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English

Ritwik Bhuyan picture

Ritwik BhuyanBachelor of Arts specializing in English

A skilled content writer, Ritwik holds a Bachelor's degree in English from Delhi University. He has refined his writing abilities through his past experience at PenVelope and his current role at Kidadl. In addition to his proficiency in writing, Ritwik has pursued his passion for flying by achieving CPL training and becoming a licensed commercial pilot. This diverse skill set highlights his commitment to exploring multiple fields. Ritwik's experience in the aviation industry has provided him with a unique perspective and attention to detail, which he brings to his writing.

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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

Pradhanya Rao picture

Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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