Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

Family of black-bellied whistling ducks (Dendrocygna autumnalis). There are six babies but one of them is hidden in this picture.

For the first time in our neighborhood, we saw some black-bellied whistling ducks. A few days ago, I saw two adults and seven babies. Today there are only six babies. These ducks used to be called black-bellied tree ducks because they roost in trees and sometimes nest in tree cavities. They are mostly vegetarians and like to eat the grain from agricultural fields. They usually feed at night. They can be found year round in the peninsular part of Florida. These birds make a very interesting whistling call. The little ones kept trying to get underneath one of the adults for shade. It was hard to fit six babies under one adult.

Six baby ducks trying to fit under the parent to get shade.
Family of black-bellied whistling ducks. The adults mate for life.

While trying to get photos of the ducks, I heard the rattling call of some belted kingfishers and saw a pair of them on one of the branches of a tall pine tree. These birds are only seen in our area in the winter. The female has two chest bands, blue-gray and rusty while the male lacks the rusty band. These are two males.

Two male belted kingfishers (Megaceryle alcyon).

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