Which Duck is this?

Hybrid Duck Lawrence Cher

Recent photo of a Whistling Duck at the Gardens by the Bay. Lawrence Cher.

A few days ago Lawrence Cher sent me this photo of a whistling duck taken at the Gardens by the Bay. He asked me which duck is this? I think he was confused by the more than usual white streaks at the flanks and a slightly darker cap. So was I.  But it had more features of a Lesser Whistling Duck Dendrocygna javanica, an uncommon resident. The chestnut upper-tail coverts and the yellow eye ring are features of a Lesser Whistling Duck.

Laurence Eu Duck Family

Family photo of different whistling ducks fostering five ducklings. Photo Laurence Eu. 

Yesterday I received a couple of photos of a family of whistling ducks from Laurence Eu, He took them at the Singapore Botanic Gardens Eco Lake on 20 June 2012 . What was interesting about the family were the parents. One was a Wandering Whistling Duck Dendrocygna acruata and the other a Lesser Whistling Duck. This is the first time I have come across this though we cannot be surprised by it. Does this means that we have a hybrid whistling duck in Singapore? We already have hybrid Jungle Fowls running around. Coming back to Lawrence Cher’s photo, is that one of the hybrid off springs with more white flank streaks and a slightly darker cap? What do you think? May be we will need to do a DNA test to confirm.

Whistling ducks by Laurance

Photo of a mixed flock of whistling ducks by the Eco Lake, three months after the first shot. Laurence Eu 18 Sept 2012. 

Reference : A field Guide to the Waterbirds of Asia. Wild Bird Society of Japan 1993. Thanks to Laurence Eu and Lawrence Cher for sharing their photos and sightings with the Bird Group.


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