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The White-faced duck

9 February 2015

www.leopard.tv

The white-faced duck Dendrocygna viduata is one of the whistling ducks and was first named scientifically as Anas viduata by Linnaeus in 1766 based on a specimen from Cartagena in Colombia. The name viduata is Latin for having a mask and reflects the striking white-masked face of this duck which occurs throughout much of Africa, the Comoro Islands and tropical America. In South Africa it is widespread in the north-eastern regions, occurring as far south as the Free State but with a scattered and irregular occurrence further south.

This type of duck stands upright on long legs, is up to 48 cm tall and weighs up to 700 g, with the sexes looking alike. When swimming, it floats high in the water. The chin, throat and front half of the head are striking white, often with a variable black, rusty or brown stripe separating the white chin from the white throat. The rear of the head and the upper neck are black, while the breast and lower neck are chestnut in colour. The back is dark grey, often with a chestnut median streak. The sides of the breast and flanks... (Become a subscriber for more)

 

Reference:

Hockey, P A R, W R J Dean and P G Ryan (Eds) 2005. Roberts – birds of southern Africa, seventh edition. Cape Town: The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, pp 85 - 87.

 

article by Prof J du P Bothma

 

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