WBU Clearwater/Safety Harbor’s Bird of the Month Winning Photo Subject for October: The Black-Bellied-Whistling-Duck!

Black-Bellied-Whistling-Duck

Photo: This month's BoM Contest is now ended and we have our winner!!! Jeneanne Keeling sent us this gorgeous shot of a Black-Bellied-Whistling Duck. She says: "They have beautiful coloring and a distinct whistling sound when they fly. They are mostly nocturnal, they feed during the day and migrate at night. We call them night whistlers. I took this photo in Sarasota, FL." Jeneane has won a $20.00 gift card for use in the store! Thanks for helping to spread the word on Florida's beautiful wild bird population, Jeneane! November's Bird of the Month contest will begin shortly, so keep an eye out!!

Photo Courtesy J. keeling

October’s Bird of the Month Contest offers us this terrific winning photo from Wild Birds Unlimited Clearwater/Safety Harbor store friend and fan, J. Keeling.

Here are a few fun facts about this frequent Florida flyer: The Black-Bellied-Whistling-Duck!

With its long neck, unique coloring, pink legs and bright orange beak, the Black-Bellied-Whistling-Duck carries a distinctive appearance.

  • The Black-Bellied-Whistling-Duck is a nocturnal feeder and may be heard more easily than seen in Florida’s evening and night-time hours along golf courses with shallow ponds and in freshly seeded lawns and agricultural areas.
  • Black-Bellied-Whistling-Ducks are partial and take well to man-made nest boxes. Come to the store and ask Carl or Karen about how you can attract these fun birds to your backyard habitat with a home-made nest box.
  • They were once referred to as “Black-Bellied-Tree-Ducks” for their often obvious perching preferences, making use of tree branches and even vacated holes for nesting.

Photo Courtesy of Jean/Flickr

Ways to help:

  • If convenient or exclusive to your home, place nest boxes in areas near shallow ponds and waterways.
  • Where safe, leave dead trees standing to provide nesting and perching areas for these birds.
  • Stay abreast of the latest news from Florida’s land management agencies and respond to incidences of wetland interruptions and overuse of such areas.
  • Get your neighborhood involved! Many communities throughout Pinellas County border small wetland areas or maintain common area ponds. Speak to your neighbors about setting up nest boxes in these areas to assist in the health and longevity of this beautiful and interesting species.

Thanks again to all who submitted their photos to Clearwater/Safety Harbor’s Bird of the Month Contest on our Facebook page!

By sharing these photos, you help spread the word on individual wild bird species… their habits, their needs and the ways we can all work together to ensure they remain safe, healthy and welcomed guests in our Florida backyard habitats!

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Hammock Bird Banding

A dynamic update on the Migratory Bird Banding Project in Hammock Park, Dunedin, Florida.

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