Dendrocygna autumnalis

Status: Uncommon regular summer visitor Platte and North Platte River Valleys southward. Accidental breeder Rainwater Basin.

Documentation: Specimen: UNSM ZM16079, 29 Oct 1989 Hansen WPA, Clay Co (Labedz 1990; Grenon 1990).

Taxonomy: No subspecies are recognized.

Changes since 2000: Of the 40+ records, only three occurred prior to 2000, clearly an increase in occurrence for this southern species that is now essentially regular in occurrence in summer.

Summer: There are about 40 records, ranging from 13 Apr-30 Dec, 19 of these 14 May-7 Sep. There are only two Apr records, 13 Apr 2020 Garfield Co and 15 Apr 2017 Saunders Co, one for Nov, and two for Dec, latest early Dec-30 Dec 2008 at Pier Park, Grand Island, Hall Co.

The only report of breeding is of a pair with ducklings incapable of flight at Funk WPA, Phelps Co on the rather late date 28 Sep 2019 (Krechmer,; two adults and nine juveniles were photographed there 15 Oct (Brogie et al,

Reports are statewide south of the North Platte and Platte River Valleys, but most records are from the south-central and southeast. The westernmost record involved a group of eight photographed on 1-3 Jun 2017 at Bridgeport, Morrill Co, and 1-2 on 1-9 Jun 2012 in Lincoln Co, and the northernmost records a group of eight at Atkinson, Holt Co 21 Oct 2017, three there 19-23 Jun 2018 (Brogie 2019), and five in Knox and Cedar Cos 16 Nov 2019.

The provenance of a flock of 19, consisting of two adults and 17 immatures, near Holdrege, Phelps Co 24 Oct 2009 is not known; there were reports the same year of 5-7 free-flying adults on top of duck pens at two different waterfowl breeders in Hall Co. A group of 16 was photographed on a rooftop about 15 miles south of Holdrege 6 May 2015, not far from the 2009 sighting of 19 birds.


UNSM: University of Nebraska State Museum
WMA: Waterfowl Management Area (State)


Photograph (top) of a Black-bellied Whistling-Duck at Omaha, Douglas Co, on 11 Nov 2010 by Phil Swanson.

Literature Cited

Brogie, M.A. 2011. 2010 (22nd) Report of the NOU Records Committee.  NBR 79: 99-111.

Brogie, M.A. 2019. 2018 (30th) Report of the NOU Records Committee. NBR 87: 96-109.

Grenon, A.G. 1990. 1990 Third report of the NOU Records Committee.  NBR 58: 90-97.

Labedz, T.E. 1990. A Black-Bellied Whistling-Duck specimen from Nebraska: a first state record.  NBR 58: 49-52.

Recommended Citation

Silcock, W.R., and J.G. Jorgensen.  2020.  Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis), Version 1.0. In Birds of Nebraska — Online.

Birds of Nebraska – Online