Lesser Whistling-ducklings all in a row

on 1st March 2013

The above image by Lena Chow shows an adult Lesser Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna javanica) leading a brood of 12 ducklings with another adult supervising along the side of the neat row. First posted in her Facebook LINK it attracted some interesting comments.

Liling Tan believes that the brood consists of two families and not a very productive one as stated by Lena. According to literature, the normal clutch size is 7-12 eggs for these ducks. Referring to this LINK, Lena quoted: “Whistling-ducks comprise a group of species that are primarily of tropical and subtropical distribution. In common with the swans and true geese (which with them comprise the subfamily Anserinae), the included species have a reticulated tarsal surface pattern, lack sexual dimorphism in plumage…”

Weng L Lim speculates that the ducklings come “from different parents flock together, then follow the ‘lucky’ mother duck.” Joy Tang on the other hand commented: “I thought the fathers usually disappear… more likely 2 moms?”

“So apart from asking the ducks, is there already a known answer?” asked Lena, echoing Weng L Lim.

Ducks are generally gregarious birds, often seen in loose colonies that vary from a few dozens or more. They feed, roost and loaf together, either on land or on water. Pair formation and courtship display similarly take place in groups. But when it comes to nesting, most species do so in loose or solitary pairs. There is an obvious need to observe groupings of ducklings.

Lena Chow, Liling Tan, Weng L Lim & Joy Tang
February 2013

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

3 Responses

  1. Very nice photo, wish I would see a line of duckling as such as well, very adorable and nice scene to see I must say.

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