Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

We’ve had fantastic weather here in Central Florida this week – perfect for a photo outing.  When Kevin K. invited me to go back to Viera Wetlands yesterday with Frank B., I readily agreed. There’s a lot to see with many baby birds about and even reports of a King Rail family.  There are also a great many Black-bellied Whistling Ducks.

Black Bellied Whistling DuckBlack-bellied Whistling Duck

These are common around here this time of year.  I’ve also seen them at the Circle B-BarOrlando Wetlands, and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

They’re unusual ducks.  Their appearance is distinctive and instead of quacking, they do have a whistle like call.  I usually see most ducks paddling around in the water.  Black-bellied Whistling Ducks are sometimes in the water, but you’re much more likely to see these perched in trees.

I managed to catch this sequence yesterday.  One bird was minding its own business on a dead palm tree and another wanted to join or replace it.  These four photos capture what happened.  The bird on the tree was not interested in sharing!

Black Bellied Whistling Duck disputes -1 of 4Duck dispute – 1 of 4.  “Hey what do you think you’re doing?”

Black Bellied Whistling Duck disputes - 2 of 4Duck dispute – 2 of 4.  “You can’t land here!”

Black Bellied Whistling Duck disputes - 3 of 4Duck dispute – 3 of 4.  “I said back off, buddy!”

Black Bellied Whistling Duck disputes - 4 of 4Duck dispute – 4 of 4.  “OK, that does it – GET LOST!”

This same kind of thing happened more than once on different trees, with different ducks.  Fun to watch!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2015, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

8 thoughts on “Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

  1. I love watching the black bellied whistling ducks ( we often nickname them whistlers)…because they are perched or even in the reeds, we can see them really well. Your photos are beautiful

  2. Great stuff! Couldn’t fathom the EXIF on flickr to work out if you were on shutter priority, but 1/2500 sounds pretty fast so I’m guessing you were expecting action?!

    1. Thanks, Rhona. I shoot on aperture priority almost all the time. I knew the bird would be flying in and wanted a fast shutter to freeze action. I just opened the aperture as far as it would go and then upped the ISO a bit. I probably should have backed off on the ISO or the aperture a little bit as they both affected the quality some. The advantage of shutter priority would be that the camera would have done the aperture part for me. Oh well, old habits are hard to break.

  3. Hi Ed,
    I have been enjoying your photography and stories for some time. I should respond each time because there is always something to learn.

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