Cuban Whistling Ducks
Cuban Whistling Ducks, also known as West Indian Whistling Duck to many ornithologists, are tropical long legged birds that uniquely roost in trees compared to the other species. They are the largest in the species of whistling ducks and non migratory. The males and females have similar plumage with long legs. This species of duck is most active of night. Their wild diet consists of plant matter, especially the fruit of the Royal Palm. They are a more calm and quiet species and recommended for those that are into aviculture and enjoy observing wild ducks.
Range: Native to Puerto Rico, Cuba, and several islands of West Indies, warmer climate is preferred. However, with proper shelter and heat, they can acclimate to other environments when needed. Their habitat consists of mangrove and swamp areas.
Status in the Wild: The Cuban Whistling Ducks are listed as vulnerable at this time due to their land being used for hunting purposes.
Status in Aviculture: Due to their docile behavior, the Cuban Whistling Duck is bred in captivity and are occasionally available in aviculture.
Breeding and Incubation: The Breeding season for Cuban Whistling Ducks is May to September. They lay around 6-10 eggs and the eggs are incubated for 30 days. This is a very unique species as they are monogamous throughout life. That means they pair bond with their mate and stay together for many years.
Lifespan: They are relatively a long lived species but not very prolific breeders.
Mature Weight: Both the males and females average 2.5 pounds in weight.
Housing Requirements: A fenced in area is recommended. The ducks are pinioned so that they cannot fly. A raised wooden nest box is preferred for their nesting boxes and some roosts since this species does roost. Shrubbery and plants is also needed.
Notes: This duck also goes by the name Black-Billed Whistling Duck or Dendrocygna arborea.