Dendrocygna arcuata


The Wandering Whistling Duck is a smallish duck with rich red-brown plumage overall, with a paler face, front of the neck and upper breast. There is a dark stripe on the crown of the head, nape and back of the neck. The bill and legs are dark. There are elongated flank plumes, which are off-white with chestnut edges. In-flight, the dark under wings, cinnamon and chestnut underbody, white under tail and trailing dark legs are seen. This species is also known as the Whistling Tree Duck, Water Whistling Duck and the Red Whistler.


The Wandering Whistling Duck is found in northern and eastern Australia, from the Kimberley region, across the north of Australia, to south-eastern New South Wales. It is vagrant to the south-east and the south-west of the country. This species is also distributed through Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and the Pacific Islands.

Oakvale Distribution Maps png Wandering Whistling Duck
Wandering Whistling Duck Distribution Map


The average lifespan of the Wandering Whistling Duck is approximately between 10 - 15 years.


The Wandering Whistling Duck measures between 55 - 60 centimetres in length and weight up to 750g.


The Wandering Whistling Duck feeds almost entirely on aquatic vegetation and seeds, but also on young grass, the bulbs of rushes and other herbage, insects and other small aquatic animals.


The Wandering Whistling Duck prefers deep vegetated lagoons and swamps, flooded grasslands, sewerage farms, grain stubbles, pastures, irrigated lands and rice fields.


The Wandering Whistling Duck breeds in the northern wet season which is from January - April. The nest is a scrape in the ground out of reach of rising floodwaters, and is hidden in tall grass or shrubbery and lined with grass. Wandering Whistling Ducks are monogamous, and pair-bonds are most likely life-long. The female Wandering Whistling Duck will produce between 7 - 15 eggs and will incubate the eggs for approximately 30 days.


Shrill high pitched whistle on ground and in flight.