For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for Wandering whistling duck.

Wandering whistling duck

Wandering whistling duck
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Dendrocygna
D. arcuata
Binomial name
Dendrocygna arcuata
(Horsfield, 1824)
  • D. a. arcuata (Indonesian wandering whistling duck) (Horsfield, 1824)
  • D. a. australis (Australian wandering whistling duck) (Reichenbach, 1850)
  • D. a. pygmaea (New Britain wandering whistling duck) (Mayr, 1945)

The wandering whistling duck (Dendrocygna arcuata) is a species of whistling duck. They inhabit tropical and subtropical Australia, the Philippines, Borneo, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands.[2]


There are three subspecies associated with this bird, D. a. arcuata (Indonesian wandering whistling duck), D. a. australis (Australian wandering whistling duck), and D. a. pygmaea (New Britain wandering whistling duck).


Formerly named tree ducks, the wandering whistling duck has its new name because of their loud whistling calls and the whistling noise their wings make during flight. They have long necks and legs and look like a cross between a goose and a duck. They have a strong head and neck with a darker crown and hindneck. The breast contains black spotting and the feathers are mostly dark brown. They range in size from 54–60 cm in height and weigh on average 750 grams. They mainly feed on grasses, waterlilies, water plants and occasionally insects and aquatic vertebrae.


The wandering whistling duck lives in deep lagoons, flooded grasslands or dams. They enjoy the water and rarely leave the shore. They can swim and dive with ease.


Breeding occurs during the tropical wet season usually between December and May. During this time six to fifteen eggs are laid in a nest not far from water and usually in high grass or a sheltered area.

In Aboriginal language and culture

The Bininj people of western Arnhem Land call this animal djilikuybi in the Bininj Kunwok language, and hunt it for food.[3] In the Kundjeyhmi dialect, it is known as djirrbiyuk, and there is an Aboriginal outstation in Kakadu National Park which is named Djirrbiyuk after this bird.[4] In Yolŋu languages it is known as guyiyi[5] or walkuli.[6]



  1. ^ BirdLife International (2018). "Dendrocygna arcuata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2018: e.T22679753A131906867. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T22679753A131906867.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  2. ^ Pizzey, Graham; Knight, Frank (1997). Field guide to the birds of Australia (3rd ed.). Angus & Robertson. p. 26. ISBN 0-207-19714-8.
  3. ^ Garde, Murray. "djilikuybi". Bininj Kunwok Online Dictionary. Bininj Kunwok Regional Language Centre. Retrieved 7 Nov 2021.
  4. ^ "Wandering whistling duck". Kakadu National Park. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  5. ^ "guyiyi". Yolŋu Matha dictionary. Charles Darwin University. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  6. ^ "walkuli". Yolŋu Matha dictionary. Charles Darwin University. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
{{bottomLinkPreText}} {{bottomLinkText}}
Wandering whistling duck
Listen to this article

This browser is not supported by Wikiwand :(
Wikiwand requires a browser with modern capabilities in order to provide you with the best reading experience.
Please download and use one of the following browsers:

This article was just edited, click to reload
This article has been deleted on Wikipedia (Why?)

Back to homepage

Please click Add in the dialog above
Please click Allow in the top-left corner,
then click Install Now in the dialog
Please click Open in the download dialog,
then click Install
Please click the "Downloads" icon in the Safari toolbar, open the first download in the list,
then click Install

Install Wikiwand

Install on Chrome Install on Firefox
Don't forget to rate us

Tell your friends about Wikiwand!

Gmail Facebook Twitter Link

Enjoying Wikiwand?

Tell your friends and spread the love:
Share on Gmail Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Buffer

Our magic isn't perfect

You can help our automatic cover photo selection by reporting an unsuitable photo.

This photo is visually disturbing This photo is not a good choice

Thank you for helping!

Your input will affect cover photo selection, along with input from other users.


Get ready for Wikiwand 2.0 🎉! the new version arrives on September 1st! Don't want to wait?