African Black Duck

Introduction: African black ducks (Anas sparsa) can be detected by a loud quack from the female, often repeated in flight. They usually stay put on the ground, not usually moving very far if at all. Their habitat is one of perennial rivers and streams, including fast-flowing rivers to wide, sandy river mouths. Shallow, stony-bottomed streams with wooded banks are favoured as are rivers that flow through towns.

Distribution: Scattered populations include at Fish River Canyon, the Orange River and southern Namibia.

Diet: African black ducks forage mainly along streams and rivers for seeds from aquatic plants or to pick fruits from overhanging ground plants. They eat mulberries, cultivated grain seeds, crabs and fish fry.

Description: This is a medium-sized duck with bold white markings on the back, tail and wing. The name sparsa is Latin and refers either to the scattered white spots on the back or to its distribution.

Breeding: Between 4 and 11 eggs are laid in August in nests of grass and lined with feathers, built by the female. Incubation periods are 28 to 32 days.

Size: 58cm.

Weight: 1.1kg.

Birds of Namibia Wildlife of Namibia

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