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Plumed Whistling-Duck

(Dendrocygna eytoni)
Alternate name(s): "Plumed Tree-duck", "Gras Whistle Duck", "Eyton's Tree-duck"
Aboriginal name(s): "chipala*", "nowee"

Size: 40-60 cm
Weight: 1 kg (average)

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Plumed Whistling-Duck at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range


Click here for sighting information



Pair of Plumed Whistling-Ducks on a farm dam; probably the male is leading the female
[Eulah Creek, NSW, December 2011]

Plumed Whistling-Ducks seen on a pond
[Rockhampton, QLD, July 2009]

Plumed Whistling-Ducks seen on a pond
[Rockhampton, QLD, July 2009]

"Oi, mate, you're not one of us!" (Royal Spoonbill)
[Rockhampton, QLD, July 2009]

Overview of about half of all Plumed Whistling-Ducks seen on one pond
[Rockhampton, QLD, July 2009]

Nine of about 50 Plumed Whistling-Ducks spotted by us at a farm dam
[Near Narrabri, NSW, January 2009]

Plumed Whistling-Ducks on the banks of a farm dam
[Near Narrabri, NSW, January 2009]

In this photo the evening light illuminates the plumes very conspicuously
[Near Narrabri, NSW, January 2009]

Flock of Plumed Whistling-Ducks on water
[Near Kenebri, NSW, April 2011]

Flock of Plumed Whistling-Ducks on water (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Moree, NSW, April 2014]

Flock of Plumed Whistling-Ducks on the ground (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Mixed flock of Plumed Whistling-Ducks and Wandering Whistling-Ducks in a tropical floodplain, avoiding a saltwater crocodile (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Mary River, NT, August 2008]

Flock of Plumed Whistling-Ducks taking to the air (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Flock of Plumed Whistling-Ducks in flight (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Moree, NSW, April 2014]

Plumed Whistling-Ducks in flight; here one can see clearly that the plumes grow on the body and are not part of the wings
[Kenebri, NSW, February 2009]

Flock of Plumed Whistling-Ducks in flight
[Burren Junction, NSW, December 2014]

Close-up near-frontal view of Plumed Whistling-Ducks in captivity (photo courtesy of S. Kirkby)

Close-up near-dorsal view of a Plumed Whistling-Duck in captivity

Plumed Whistling-Ducks in captivity preening (photo courtesy of J. Thurmer)


Family of Plumed Whistling-Ducks; note how similar the (smaller) young ones are to the leading adult (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)


Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Nomadic Elementary unit: Large flock

Food, Diet

Like all other geese, ducks and swans, Plumed Whistling-Ducks are mostly vegetarian. They feed on plants on land.


For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

plwduck_20151222.mp3 (NW NSW) Contact calls © MD
plwduck_20141206_3.mp3 (NW NSW) Contact calls
(Flock in flight)
© MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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