Behind a green wall of tall grass and shrubs, black-bellied whistling-ducks gather on a slimy log in a small pond not far from one of Bradenton’s busiest roads: Manatee Avenue West. Turtles were the original photographic target, but the observant row of 10 water foul huddled together won when the reptiles disappeared under the green coated surface.
According to Ducks Unlimited, black-bellied whistling-ducks dine at night on grain, seeds, insects and mollusks, and shoots found in shallow water. The female can lay as many as 13 eggs in a nest, and several females often share the same nest. The ducks can be found in parts of South America, Central America and coastal regions of the United States.
My attempts at whistling at them no doubt were a disappointment and fell short of whistling-duck standards, for they never whistled back.