Zoo Buddy: These ducks can carry a tune

Zoo Buddies: Whistling Ducks
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 7:30 AM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - This time of year, you’ll start to see more whistling ducks in the ArkLaMiss! In today’s Zoo Buddy segment, we’re highlighting some black-bellied whistling ducks who take refuge at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo for part of the year.

“They have migrated in from another state right now there’s about 30 of them,” says Lisa Taylor, General Curator at the zoo. “Whistling ducks, in general, are tree ducks. And so these guys are really agile. They like to fly in the trees and hang out. And they actually make their nest inside of the tree cavity.”

These ducks are from North America and are on the smaller side, compared to other ducks.

“These guys are just like you said they like almost stand up straight,” explains Taylor. “And they have a unique little whistle, hence the name whistling ducks. And when they fly over, you automatically know that’s what kind of duck this is. And they also have a white band on their wings, it’s also easy to identify when they’re flying.”

Taylor says these guys are typically nocturnal, but they will feed during the day and night. They are omnivores and usually eat bugs and insects, but they will eat plants, seeds, or whatever is around.

She says they’ve also got unique facts about them when it comes to raising their young.

“Both parents actually incubate the eggs and raise the young. In about eight weeks after they hatch out the egg, they are ready to fly, which is pretty amazing for a wild duck to be ready to go that early age.”

The zoo is open every day of the week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and you can call them at (318) 329-2400 for more information. Don’t forget they’ve got boat rides, train rides, and interactive exhibits!

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