Animal Profile - White-faced Whistling Ducks


Magellan, Arthur,
Squirmy McWiggles, Spritz & Jaime
White-faced whistling ducks
Hatch-date May 4, 2001

The clutch mates joined the Interpretive Center when they were very young and are very attached to the IC staff.  They are flock oriented and always want to be with each other.  During the stage shows, the flyers are release at the top of the stairs and they fly right down to the pinioned three on the stage.  Although sometimes they feel the need to stretch their wings a bit and my do a few circles around the audience before making their final approach.

These ducks all have distinct personalities.  Arthur is the nicest to the staff and the other ducks.  When Spritz injured his foot and had surgery, Arthur was the only duck not to isolate or shun Spritz.  Now they live together and often go on ZooMobiles because they are the best behaved around the children.

White-faced whistling ducks are native to Africa and South America although they are found elsewhere during migration.  They are the lifeguards of the waterways.  They travel in large flocks and individuals alternate eating and watching for predators.  With so many ducks looking in all directions, they are the first to sound a whistle alarm and alert all the animals to danger.

At the Zoo the ducks eat a special duck chow and their favorite treats are mealworms.  In the Summer if you sit in the front row of the amphitheater beware of the splash zone, the playful ducks just might get you wet when they are splashing around in the pool.


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