Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Lesser Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna javanica)


French: Dendrocygne siffleur German: Javapfeifgans Spanish: Suirirí de Java
Other common names: Lesser Tree Duck, Indian Whistling-duck, Javan Whistling-duck

Anas Javanica


, 1821,



Has been thought to be closest to D. arcuata. Monotypic.


E Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka E to SE China, and S through SE Asia to Sumatra, Borneo, Java and Bali. Formerly resident in Ryukyu Is; occasional in Taiwan.

Descriptive notes

38–42 cm; 450–600 g. Smallest of the whistling-ducks. Fairly uniform plumage; chestnut uppertail-coverts; inconspicuous yellow eyering. Juvenile duller.


Shrill, high-pitched “tsee-tsee, tchee-tchee” in flight and when taking-off from water, often given... read more


Generally found on small bodies of shallow water (e.g. oxbow lakes, ponds, flooded fields,... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly grasses, wild and cultivated rice, seeds and shoots of water weeds (Lymnophyla heterophyla, Ultricularia, ... read more


Season determined by extent of rains, but tends to coincide with start of rainy period; in Sri Lanka mainly in Dec–Jan and Jul–... read more


Mostly sedentary, except small, northernmost Chinese population, which vacates breeding areas in... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Abundant over much of range, with most recent estimate (from late 1990s) suggesting overall population is declining but still numbers... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Lesser Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna javanica). 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 25 February 2020).