Lesser Whistling-ducks… and then there were none

posted in: Miscellaneous, Videography | 0

By the end of July, the Lesser Whistling-ducks (Dendrocygna javanica) HERE and HERE had moved out from their original spot in the Lotus Pond at Gardens by the Bay. The original 11 ducklings, reduced to four as a result of predation, were led by the two adults across the major road towards the wide expanse of water that is the Marina Barrage – see video clip below by Sim Chip Chye.

According to Jeremiah Loei: “Not too sure if this is a good or bad news, Uncle Fong had updated me that our Lesser Whistling-duck family had migrated to the lotus pond just next to the Satay by the Bay food court … now … all went to the barrage… I guess it’s their nature and instincts to move around when ducklings are ready for a safer n better spot? Hopefully they’ll remember their birth place n comes back to breed again…”.

Was the move a result of “disturbance” from the group of enthusiastic photographers? Were the ducks looking for new territory to explore… new feeding grounds perhaps?

Adults Lesser Whistling Ducks with remaining duckling… (Photo: Mary Yeo).

“BICA member Mary Yeo went down to Marina Bay East on 25th July @ 6.45, she found only one ducklings left with parents. I went Down on 26th July evening and found no ducks or ducklings at Garden by the Bay East ponds. Someone spotted both adult ducks back at Gardens by the Bay pond the next day,” wrote Jeremiah Loei.

Well, now all 11 ducklings were gone. Not to worry, the pair will continue to breed… Losing all the 11 ducklings is not a tragedy. Should two duckling survive each breeding and develop into adults, the population of these ducks will increase beyond control. If only two ducklings survive the series of breeding by the pair, this actually represents “replacement”.

The Lesser Whistling-ducks have been around for years LINK and they will continue to be around for many more years to come – unless we remove their habitat… pond, lakes and other water bodies.

Sim Chip Chye, Jeremiah Loei, Mary Yeo et al.
Singapore
5th August 2019

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