White-faced Whistling Ducks Welcome New Mates at the Zoo Debrecen

Local News

Two white-faced whistling ducks have arrived in the Big Forest in Debrecen from the zoo in Zurich.

Sándor Gergely Nagy indicated: that he has already accepted the young eggs hatched in March of this year as mates for the two hatchlings that arrived in 2021, so the team of four can be admired in complete harmony in the social flight next to the red panda enclosure.

The nun’s whistling goose (Dendrocygna viduata) is found in both sub-Saharan Africa and South America, presumably brought by humans across the Atlantic Ocean.

It got its name from its color similar to the habitus worn by nuns and its characteristic, whistle-like sound. It is a tropical bird, so it does not migrate: it forms huge colonies of up to thousands of individuals, which split into pairs or smaller groups during the mating season.

It builds its nest on the water’s edge, less often in tree hollows. The parents take turns incubating the eggs and jointly raise the chicks, which become independent at eight weeks of age.

Sándor Gergely Nagy added: for the time being, its natural populations are stable and populous, but due to the danger of diseases, hunting, and habitat loss, the species is on the Red List of the World Conservation Union (IUCN). It is considered relatively rare among Hungarian zoos, as it can only be found in two other institutions, he said.


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