White-Backed Duck

Introduction: White-backed ducks (Thalassornis leuconotus) are a small, large-headed species. They can be found in open vleis, small farm dams, pans, backwaters of larger dams and any other water body that has clear water with floating plants in grassland and savannah regions. They are seen in pairs or family groups usually on floating vegetation. They seldom fly during the day. Ducklings are a target for the African fish eagle.

Distribution: Common in Bushmanland in northern Namibia and the Caprivi, but less common in central Namibia

Diet: White-backed ducks dive to the bottom muds in open water where they will forage and feed mainly from dawn to just after sunrise and from late afternoon to sunset. Their diet consists of water-lilies, aquatic herbs and seeds.

Description: Members of this genus are small grebe-like ducks with legs set far back, a diving adaptation. Their legs and feet are grey. A distinctive feature is a tapered bill with a distinctive nail.

Breeding: They nest in a significant bowl, unlined and over water, built by both male and female who also care for their ducklings.

Size: 43cm.

Weight: 660g.

Birds of Namibia Wildlife of Namibia

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