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Aves > Anseriformes > Anatidae > Dendrocygna

Dendrocygna javanica (Horsfield, 1821) – Lesser Whistling Duck

Taxonomic Notes:

Alternative Common Names: Lesser Whistling Teal, Tree Duck, Lesser Tree Duck, Lesser Whistling Teal, Indian Whistling Duck, Indian Whistling-duck, Whistling-teal, Javan Whistling Duck, Javan Tree Duck.

Alternative name combination: Anas javanica Horsfield, 1821.

Synonyms: NA.

Breeding Season: May to October (dependent on monsoon in India)

Nest: Nest is made of twigs and grass made in natural hollows of tall and old trees. Some individuals make nest high into the trees, especially on thick branches, close to marshy/wetland areas, while some others utilize abandoned nests of kites, crows, herons or storks. Their nests can also be found on ground near wetlands or marshes, although, it is uncommon.

 7–17 eggs, ivory-white, size 45·6–49·6 mm × 38·1–39·7 mm.

Indian and global distribution:
The species is widely distributed.

records (based on images):
Size: Medium-sized duck 38-42 cm; Wingspan 170-204mm

Distinguishing Characters:

Adults: A small pale brown and maroon-chestnut colored duck. Uniformly chestnut upper tail-coverts, yellow eye-ring.

Young/Immatures: Paler overall, dull chestnut-brown to lower parts, feathers of mantle dingy fulvous margins

Similar Species in India:
 It is much similar to Fulvous Whistling Duck but has no white on lateral body and neck, absence of rusty-whitish collar and smaller in size.

Sexual, seasonal & individual variation:

No sexual dimorphism exists for this species. There is also no discernible individual variation. 
Status, Habitat and Habits:

Widespread throughout India. Generally found on small and shallow waterbodies, marshes, lakes, mangroves and coastal lagoons with abundant marshy vegetation and surrounded by trees, used for roosting. It occurs in small parties of 10 to 15, occasionally in large flocks.

This species is a good diver and also walks well on marshy land, grazing rather like a goose.

Foraging Behaviour: 
Majorly feeds on aquatic weeds and tender shoots and grain of wild and cultivated seeds etc. Also, small fish, frogs, snails, worms.

A shrill wheezy whistling seasick, seasick constantly in flight; Call very similar to Fulvous Whistling Duck. 

Migration Status:

IUCN Status: 
Least Concern.

1. Rasmussen, P. C., and J. C. Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Washington, DC.

2. Ali, S., and S. D. Ripley. 1978. Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan: Together with those of Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and Ceylon (Vol. 1). Oxford University Press.

3. Stuart Baker, E. C. 1933. The Nidification of Birds of the Indian Empire. Taylor And Francis.

4. BirdLife International. 2016. Dendrocygna bicolorThe IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22679746A92827620. 

Aves > Anseriformes > Anatidae > Dendrocygna

Cite this page along with its URL as:
Satose, V., and A. Bayani. 2023. Dendrocygna javanica (Horsfield, 1821) – Lesser Whistling Duck. Satose, V., A. Bayani, V. Ramachandran, P. Roy, and K. Kunte (Chief Editors). Birds of India, v. 2.17. Indian Foundation for Butterflies.
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