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Two white-faced whistling ducks in Shedd's verdant Amazon Rising habitat stand close together and peer at the camera.

White-faced Whistling Duck

You won’t have any trouble identifying the pair of white-faced whistling ducks in Amazon Rising’s River’s Edge and Floodplain Lake habitats. These curious ducks just might be front and center in the water. This species gets its name from its high-pitched three-note whistling call.

Two white-faced whistling ducks rest among logs and foliage as they paddle around the shallow water of their Amazon Rising habitat.
Two white faced whistling ducks swim in their Amazon Rising habitat, bobbing effortlessly with their heads lifted alertly.

Strange travelers

White-faced whistling ducks are widespread in South America, especially from the southern Amazon basin down into Argentina. They are also abundant throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa. Scientists believe this strange range is the result of humans transporting the ducks to new locations. Wherever they land, they prefer bodies of fresh water, including lakes, marshes and even rice paddies. They also perch in tree branches. These ducks are nocturnal feeders, foraging on grass, seeds and aquatic mollusks.

Other birds

Barred owl

Red-tailed hawk

Wood duck

Green araçari

Brazilian teal

Great horned owl