Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks at dusk and dawn over Gainesville

In the past 10 years or so, a furtive species of large, nocturnal duck has gradually been making inroads as an established species in the Gainesville area. Their population expansion is a bit of a mystery but, in the past year, conditions in suburban Gainesville for the Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (BBWD) have favored a dramatic increase in its presence.  Each evening around dusk, dozens upon dozens of BBWDs fly from daytime roosts south toward the prairie and similar habitats to forage.  Each morning around dawn, they return to their daytime roosts.

It's difficult to see BBWDs as they fly overhead in poor light conditions but their loud, almost comical whistling calls give their presence away.  Click here to study the BBWD and here to listen to recordings of its call.  Have you been hearing them?