Notice for readers: On March 31, Neotropical Birds will be integrated into the new Birds of the World, a powerful research database offering species accounts for every species on earth. Learn more at While Birds of the World is a subscription service, we remain committed to offering this content to Neotropical Birds contributors and to those unable to pay for it through our scholarship program. Stay tuned.

Fulvous Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna bicolor


Fulvous Whistling-Duck is another fairly large (53 cm length), goose-like duck with an erect stance that flies with a drooped head posture. It’s a successful, widespread species nesting from southern California to Florida, throughout much of Central and South America, and in Africa and the Indian subcontinent. Adults are attired in a varied palette of browns; the head, neck and breast are a rich buff (fulvous); the mantle is dark brown with buff-tipped feathers, the flight feathers and tail are dark brown, and a dark brown stripe runs through the center of the crown down the back of the neck to the base of the mantle. There is a horizontal white stripe that separates the flanks from the back and, especially obvious in flight, a white V that separates the dark back and tail feathers. The bill, legs, and feet are gray. Unlike the Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, this species nests on the ground, in marsh vegetation, and in artificial habitats such as shallowly-flooded rice fields. The raspy call is usually two-noted and, as with other whistling-ducks, is frequently heard at night.

Help complete this species

There are many ways to contribute—we need species information, photographs, audio, video, translations, maps, distribution data, and bird sightings. There's a role for everyone!

Learn more

© Robert C. Stein

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Fulvous Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna bicolor), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: