Yellow-Billed Duck – Profile | Traits | Facts | Habitat | Breeding

Yellow-billed duck

The yellow-billed duck, scientific name Anas undulata is a 51–58 cm long dabbling duck that is a considerable resident breeder in southern and eastern Africa.

Yellow-billed duck Overview

The Yellow-Billed Duck is a dabbling duck from Southern and Eastern Africa.

There are two sub-species of the Yellow-Billed Duck, particularly the Northern Yellow-Billed Duck and the Southern Yellow-Billed Duck.

The Southern Yellow-Billed Duck is in decline attributable to competitors and hybridization with the Mallard. The Yellow-Billed Duck is, without doubt, one of the wildfowl to which the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds applies.

The distinctive vivid chrome-yellow bill with a black saddle mark and tip ought to make identification of Yellow-billed Duck easy. They don’t need to taxi on the water and take-off is often direct.

Only within the air, the flight is often high, quick, and powerful with a rhythmic wingbeat. The metallic green or blue speculum with slim white borders additional assists in figuring out them.

Yellow-billed Duck is widespread all through South Africa aside from the waterless desert areas. They frequent each natural and artificial water particularly dams, vleis, pans, rivers, and sewage works, often with some type of marginal vegetation.

During winter months, they typically congregate in massive numbers on these water the place, for a lot of the day, exercise is minimal.

They are largely nocturnal feeders however may be seen in the course of the day dabbling within the shallows for aquatic vegetation and bugs. Yellow-billed Duck typically flies out within the early night to cultivated lands to feed on grain equivalent to maize and sunflower or green fodder.


This species has an especially massive range and may be present in Angola, Botswana, Burundi, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.


This species frequents slow-flowing rivers with pools and adjoining flooded grasslands, everlasting and seasonal lakes, streams, marshes, brackish coastal lagoons, artificial reservoirs related to mining, dams, salt pans, sewage works, and the open water of estuaries.

Yellow-billed duck Description

These are mallard-sized primarily gray geese with a darker head and vivid yellow bill. The wings are whitish below, and from above present a white-bordered green speculum.
yellow-billed duck, scientific name Anas undulata
Male geese are referred to as drakes, females are hens, and younger are referred to as ducklings.

African yellow-billed geese are sometimes nocturnal foragers, feeding at nightfall and after darkish.

Adult yellow-billed geese are streaked blackish-gray on the head and neck areas. The dorsal (back) feathers are sometimes blackish-brown and scaled in look, whereas the lower feathers are principally brown or tan in color.

Like the mallard, these geese have a metallic-green speculum bordered by black and white edging. As indicated by its name, the yellow-billed duck has a vivid yellow bill with a black patch and black edging on the higher mandible.

Females are virtually equivalent in look to males aside from a considerably duller feather and bill coloration and barely smaller size.


The male has Brown with lightly scalloped plumage, darker on the back, with a light Grey streaked head and neck with Brown eyes.

The bill is vivid Yellow with a Black marking on the top and tip, the wings have a Green speculum and White under-wing. The legs and feet are Olive. Appearance – Female, just like the male.


Approximately 35 cm (14 in.)


316 to 502 g (11 to 18 oz.)

yellow-billed duck, scientific name Anas undulata


Yellow-Billed Ducks are omnivorous, with a diet consisting of the fruits, seeds, roots, leaves, and stems of aquatic and terrestrial vegetation, aquatic bugs and their larvae, crustaceans, mollusks, and agricultural grains equivalent to maize and sunflower seeds.


25 to 26 days

Clutch Size

7 to eight eggs

Fledging Duration

6 weeks

Sexual Maturity

1 to 2 years

Life Span

Averages 20 to 30 years

yellow-billed duck, scientific name Anas undulata

Yellow-billed duck Life Expectancy

Male and feminine yellow-billed geese have a statistically important distinction in life spans. Male geese live for 4 years and 4 months on average whereas feminine geese solely live for simply over 3 years.

As such the distinction in survival rate is statistically important as nicely. 79% of males survive any given year whereas solely 72% of females do.

While the juvenile survival rate is extremely variable year to year, on average 67% of juveniles survive.

The highest mortality for the yellow-billed duck happens in the summertime months with December sometimes having the best loss of life rate out of any month of the year carefully adopted by January.


This duck will not be migratory, however will wander within the dry season to seek out appropriate waters. It is extremely gregarious outside the breeding season and kinds of large flocks.

yellow-billed duck, scientific name Anas undulata

Yellow-billed duck Habitat

It is a bird of freshwater habitats in a fairly open nation and feeds by dabbling for plant meals primarily within the night or at night. It nests on the ground in dense vegetation close to water.

Rarely present in suburban areas, in shut proximity to golf programs, parks, and lakes or dams. The clutch numbers between six and twelve eggs.

The male has a teal-like whistle, whereas the feminine has a mallard-like quack.

There are two subspecies of the yellow-billed duck: A. undulata rueppelli (northern yellow-billed duck) and A. undulata undulata (southern yellow-billed duck).

Yellow-billed duck Molt

Like most different waterfowl, yellow-billed geese endure a molting process through which they lose all flight feathers at one time leaving them flightless for 3 to 4 weeks.

This leaves them particularly susceptible to predators and makes foraging troublesome. Yellow-billed geese lose appreciable (a couple of quarter) body mass in the course of the first half of molting, just like many waterfowl, however, are capable of regaining all that mass by the end of the molt in contrast to most different African waterfowl which end the molt lighter than beforehand.

This means that the mobility of partially molted yellow-billed geese is larger than different waterfowl, permitting them to successfully collect meals even before the brand new flight feathers are totally developed.

yellow-billed duck, scientific name Anas undulata

Yellow-billed duck Courtship

Sexes are related, and juveniles are barely duller than adults. The north-eastern race is darker and has a brighter bill and blue speculum. The male yellow-billed duck performs a number of shows of courtship, just like many different African geese.

The variety of courtship shows the yellow-billed geese carry out is larger than many different African geese. Ornithologists have famous seven main shows of courtship related African geese carry out; most species don’t carry out all seven, nonetheless, the yellow-billed duck will interact in all seven types of courtship.

The lack of sexual dichotomy and customarily bland plumage will be the driving issue for the frilly shows of courtship. Breeding time: December to April. The nest is constructed on the ground from grass, rushes, and reed stems and hid by vegetation. Egg Quantity: 6 to 12, Egg Colour: Ivory.


The total population could be very massive with not less than 10,000 mature people. The population is stable and never severely fragmented.


IUCN: Least Concern
CITES: Not listed
USFWS: Not listed

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