Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Fulvous Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna bicolor)


French: Dendrocygne fauve German: Gelbbrust-Pfeifgans Spanish: Suirirí bicolor
Other common names: Fulvous Tree Duck

Anas bicolor


, 1816,



May be close to D. arcuata. Hybridization with D. arcuata and D. eytoni reported in captivity. Population of S USA and N Mexico has been assigned to a geographical race, helva, but doubtfully valid. Monotypic.


Patchily distributed from S USA to N & E South America S as far as N Argentina; sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal E to Ethiopia and S to South Africa, and Madagascar; Indian Subcontinent E to Myanmar; also recorded in S Vietnam, where probably accidental.

Descriptive notes

45–53 cm; male 440–1050 g, female 500–1000 g. Uppertail-coverts whitish. Female slightly duller and smaller. Larger than D. arcuata. Juvenile... read more


Vocalizations include squealing whistle upon taking flight, a high-pitched bisyllabic “pit-tu”, “... read more


Various types of marshy habitats and swamps in open, flat terrain, including both freshwater and... read more

Food and feeding

Almost entirely vegetarian, especially rice; also feeds on other seeds and fruits (Nymphoides indica, Ambrosia maritima... read more


Season largely determined by water availability; lays mid May–Aug in North America and largely coincides with wet season in... read more


Mostly sedentary but subject to seasonal movements according to availability of water and food, e.g... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Continental populations most recently (late 1990s) estimated at 1,000,000 in Americas (where considered to be in decline, although... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Fulvous Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna bicolor). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 12 December 2019).