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Jeff Wilson | profile | all galleries >> Nesting Black-bellied Whistling Ducks - Ensley Bottoms - Memphis, TN tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Nesting Black-bellied Whistling Ducks - Ensley Bottoms - Memphis, TN

Thirty years ago, at Reelfoot Lake in northwest TN, a pair of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks was discovered and became the first documented state record for this species. This pair bred and raised 8 young. In November 1985, I found the second record, a single bird at Shelby Farms and in June 1988, I discovered the third record with 4 birds at Ensley Bottoms.

There have been a few records since then and this year (2008) Robert Gooch found a flock of 16 birds, on May 8 at Ensley Bottoms. I found a pair at Ensley on June 7 and they returned on July 4th. This pair was seen off and on until the female disappeared and at that time I suspected she might be nesting.

On July 19, 2008, David Kirschke and I found the female with at least 10 tiny young. The following are a few photos of these birds. Sorry for the horrible photos of the young but they were taken at over 1/4 of a mile as I do not want to disturb this bird in her remote hiding place.

MAY 2009 - 7 birds returned to last years nest location at Ensley Bottoms. This species returns to previous nesting sites about 50% of the time, so most likely this is last years pair returning with young. Since these birds will breed their first year we may see more broods this year. Coupulation has already been observed.

July 23, 2009 - Adult and 6 downy young at Ensley!! Third nesting in TN, more to come..........

July 17, 2011 - Adults with 3 downy young at Ensley!!!
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Black-bellied Whistling Ducks - 5-8-08 Ensley Bottoms - Memphis TN
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks - 5-8-08 Ensley Bottoms - Memphis TN
Black-bellied Whistling Duck - 6-7-08 Ensley
Black-bellied Whistling Duck - 6-7-08 Ensley
Black-bellied Whistling Duck - 7-4-08 Ensley Bottoms
Black-bellied Whistling Duck - 7-4-08 Ensley Bottoms
Black-bellied Whistling Duck - 7-11-08 Ensley Bottoms
Black-bellied Whistling Duck - 7-11-08 Ensley Bottoms
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks -7-19-08
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks -7-19-08
Black-bellied Whistling Duck - 7-23-08
Black-bellied Whistling Duck - 7-23-08
Black-bellied Whistling Duck - 7-23-08
Black-bellied Whistling Duck - 7-23-08
Black-bellied Whistling Duck - 7-23-08
Black-bellied Whistling Duck - 7-23-08
Black-bellied Whistling Duck - 7-26-08 ducklings with adults
Black-bellied Whistling Duck - 7-26-08 ducklings with adults
Black-bellied Whistling Duck - 7-27-08 brooding Mom
Black-bellied Whistling Duck - 7-27-08 brooding Mom
Black-bellied Whistling Duck - 7-27-08 sleeping brood
Black-bellied Whistling Duck - 7-27-08 sleeping brood
Black-bellied Whistling Duck - 8-3-08
Black-bellied Whistling Duck - 8-3-08
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