Does a Whistling Duck Really Whistle?
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Is A Whistling Duck Really A Duck?
Whistling duck is also known as the tree duck and belongs to the subfamily of Dendrocygninae. The family contains goose and swans as well and goes by the name of Anatidae. In some quarters, they are not listed as true ducks in the sense that they are quietly different from other types of birds referred to as thus.
It is claimed that the duck whistles because of the high-pitched sound it produces. It looks like a duck in every sense, but its behavior differs from what people have grown to associate ducks with. This is what leads people to rule it out of this group of birds.
Why the Whistling Duck is not considered a duck
There are three main reasons as to why the whistling duck is not thought of as being a duck in every sense of the word.
- The first reason is that both their males and females are identical in features and appearance.
- The second reason is that the males of these ducks contribute a lot in the raising of the young ones which is a trait not seen among other ducks.
- The third reason is that all the females and males of the Whistling duck have a habit of preening each other very much. Once again, this is a habit that is alien to almost all the other ducks.
What Makes the Whistling Duck Different from Other Ducks?
The one trait seen among the whistling duck which is not shared by other ducks is the similar look shared by both the males and females. Almost all other ducks have males with flashy appearance to attract the females for mating purposes.
The females of the other ducks tend to be drab, and this is purposely to enable them to stay out of sight when nursing young ones in the nest or when they don’t want to be disturbed or attract the attention of males. While other ducks are dimorphic, these ducks are monomorphic sexually. This is a trait that makes them stand out.
It is a fact that male whistling duck helps its female partner to raise the young ones. It plays no role in helping with the incubation of the eggs, but once the young ones hatch, they don’t leave their side. Part of the lessons they transfer to the junior ones include how to avoid predators, how to swim, how to look for food and eat among many more.
The male ducks also seek to provide protection to the young ones until a time they are able to fend for themselves. It is this behavior that has played a large part in creating a close bond between the females and males as well.
The other trait that helps to increase the bond between the male and female whistling duck is the grooming, which they help each other with. This is also quite a shocker since ducks are not known for this type of behavior.
This activity gives them the chance to further cement the close bond between them, which is established by the male helping out with the raising of the young ducks. The unique behavior exhibited by this duck has been put down to the evolutionary history which the duck had gone through in the past.