The fulvous whistling duck (Dendrocygna bicolor) is a tropical and
subtropical bird in the family of ducks, geese and swans. It breeds in
much of Mexico and South America, the West Indies, the southern US, sub-
Saharan Africa and the Indian subcontinent. It has mainly reddish brown
plumage, long legs and a long grey bill, and shows a distinctive white
band across its black tail in flight. Like other members of its ancient
lineage, it has a whistling call. The preferred habitat is shallow
lakes, paddy fields or other wetlands with plentiful vegetation. The
nest, placed among dense vegetation or in a tree hole, typically holds
around ten whitish eggs, which hatch in 24–29 days. The downy grey
ducklings leave the nest within a day or so of hatching, but the parents
continue to protect them until they fledge around nine weeks later. The
fulvous whistling duck feeds in wetlands by day or night on seeds and
other parts of plants. It has a huge range and is not threatened,
despite hunting, poisoning by pesticides and natural predation by
mammals, birds and reptiles.
Today’s selected anniversaries:
Byzantine emperor Maurice proclaimed his son Theodosius as his
War of the Breton Succession: Thirty knights each from France
and England fought to determine who would rule the Duchy of Brittany,
which later was celebrated as a noble display of the ideals of chivalry.
Feeling that Canada had failed to address the protection of
their rights, the Métis people, led by Louis Riel, began the North-West
Jonas Salk announced the successful test of his polio vaccine
on a small group of adults and children (vaccination pictured).
East Pakistan declared its independence from Pakistan to become
Bangladesh, starting the Bangladesh Liberation War.
Wiktionary’s word of the day:
The elected head of a panchayat (village government) in Bangladesh,
India, or Pakistan.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
I may have wept that any should have died Or missed their chance,
or not have been their best, Or been their riches, fame, or love denied;
On me as much as any is the jest. I take my incompleteness with the
rest. God bless himself can no one else be blessed. I hold your
doctrine of Memento Mori. And were an epitaph to be my story I’d have
a short one ready for my own. I would have written of me on my stone: I
had a lover’s quarrel with the world.
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