Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Plumed Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna eytoni)


French: Dendrocygne d’Eyton German: Gelbfuß-Pfeifgans Spanish: Suirirí australiano
Other common names: Plumed Tree Duck

Leptotarsis Eytoni


, 1838,

north-western Australia


Hybridization with D. bicolor and D. arborea reported in captivity. Monotypic.


From lower Kimberley (NE Western Australia) E across N Australia, most of Queensland and S to New South Wales and Victoria.

Descriptive notes

40–45 cm; male 600–930 g, female 580–1400 g; wingspan 75–90 cm. Uppertail-coverts with dark marks. Only Dendrocygna with pale iris. Juveniles... read more


Most distinctive vocalization is high-pitched whistling “wiss-threew” (considered more penetrating... read more


Typically associated with grassland, meadows and plains; also frequents edges of lagoons, pools and... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly plant matter, particularly grasses, herbs, sedges and seeds (Fimbristylis, Echinochloa colona). Feeds mainly on... read more


Starts at onset of wet season. Solitary; very simple nest on ground lined with soft vegetation, no down added (captivity). Clutch 8–... read more


Local movements depending on availability of water in different seasons: moves towards coast and... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Population thought to be stable and to number c. 100,000–1,000,000 individuals. Generally widespread throughout range; has... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Plumed Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna eytoni). 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 13 December 2019).