Black-bellied Whistling Duck (An Unexpected Visitor to B.K. Leach C.A.)

April 24, 2017

A black-bellied whistling duck makes a rare visit to B.K. Leach Conservation Area this morning.

I was quite surprised this morning when I ran across a black-bellied whistling duck at B.K. Leach Conservation Area. This species, which is a year-round resident in Central and South America, and now Florida, is a common visitor to southern states, such as Texas and Louisiana. Every once in a while, an adventurous whistler finds its way to Missouri, to the delight of birders and photographers. I remember a few years ago when one appeared at the little pond in front of the Missouri Conservation Department office in Cape Girardeau. I almost went down to photograph it, but I try to avoid crowds when possible. It was fun to have this downright tropical duck all to myself this morning, and the icing on the cake was a decent image.

Black-bellied whistlers are large in size, as big as some geese, and quite showy with their chestnut and black plumage and bright pinkish-orange bills. The little patch of white between the chest and belly of this individual was only present on its left side. I suppose it is some kind of anomaly.

As global warming, or climate change if you prefer, tightens its embrace on our country, sightings such as this will likely become more common.

Thanks for looking,


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4 comments on “Black-bellied Whistling Duck (An Unexpected Visitor to B.K. Leach C.A.)”

  1. We too are having very odd bird sightings these days, Lovely shot of a colourful duck…thank you!

  2. Thanks for the great story and photo,man don’t you just love the morning sounds. 

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab®4

    • Oh yes! Couldn’t believe all the birds calling at Columbia Bottom C.A. at the confluence this morning.

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