Lesser Whistling Duck

Lesser Whistling Duck    Dendrocygna javanica


  • Dendrocygna : Derndron – Tree ; Cygnus – Swan in Greek { Tree Swan}
  • Javanica : From Java in Indonesia

Vernacular Names: Sind: Chiku, Hindi: Choti Seelhi Battakh, Seelkahi, Sans: Prakhyat sharali, Pun: Birchhi til, Ben: Sharal(M), Sharali(F), Ass: Sorali/Xorali, Cachar: Bongfang daophlantu, Mani: Tingi, Guj: Nani sisoti, Nani sisoti batak, Kutch: Chayi, Mar: Mraal, Lahan Swaral, Adai, Ori: Hansrali, Ta: Chilli thara, Mahudi thara, Te: Eelavese chinna chiluva, Mal: Yeranda, Kan: Silli hakuvaniru baatu, Sinh: Seruwa, Thumba seruwa

Distribution in India: Wide spread in India.

Description: Size of 40-42 cm. It is a chestnut brown duck with chestnut upper-tail coverts. The ring around the eye is orange to yellow. When flying straight, their head is held below the level of the body as in other Dendrocygna species. The crown appears dark and the sexes are alike in plumage. They fly slowly but with rapid wing-flapping .They are very nocturnal and often rest during the day. The outermost primary feather has the inner vane modified. They produce very prominent whistling sound while flying.

Habitat: It is found in small bodies of shallow water, lakes, ponds, flooded fields, reservoirs, marshes, lakes, mangroves and coastal lagoons with abundant marshy vegetation and surrounded by trees, used for roosting.

Food Habits: It eats grasses, wild and cultivated rice, seeds and shoots of water weeds. Also eats small molluscs, freshwater snails, small fish, frogs and worms. It mainly feeds at night, early morning and in evening, with diurnal foraging only during breeding time.

Breeding Habits: They breed from May – Oct in India. The nest is made of twig and grass in trees, either in hollows or on disused nests of, crows or herons. It nests also on ground, provided there is cover such as reeds or the grass. It lays a clutch of 7–17 eggs. The incubation period is 22–30 days, by both sexes; chicks are born precocial, tended by both parents till fledging. Performs broken-wing distraction display towards perceived predators around nest.