Newsletter / Blog

Female ducks use bill colour when choosing a mate.

Ducks use bill colour to determine a potential mates' sexual health, according to new research. The new evidence shows how a brighter, more colourful bill communicates specific and important information about a potential partner's sexual health.

Not only can the females identify males with stronger sperm, but close attention to bill colour may protect them from sexually transmitted diseases.

Formore information go to -

Yellow-billed Duck

The Yellow-billed Duck - Anas undulate – is found in parts of Central, East and Southern Africa. Very common in South Africa on still waters of streams, lakes, swamps, pans, swamps, marshes and sewerage ponds.


The feathers brown, edged with white, with a darker head. They have whitish underwings and white-bordered emerald speculums, a distinctive wing patch on the upper wings. The bill is bright yellow with a black central patch. Males and females look alike, and juveniles are slightly duller than adults.


The male has a Teal-like whistle, whereas the female has a Mallard-like quack.


It feeds mainly on plant matter, supplemented with invertebrates.


A solitary nester and the female builds the nest, which usually placed in dense cover, near water. Eggs are laid year-round, the female laying 2 to 10 eggs. Incubation is done solely by the female for between 26 to 29 days. The chicks usually have their first flight at 68 days, but they remain with their mother for 6 weeks after fledging, after which they become fully independent.

Conservation Status – Least Concern

This species has an extremely large range and in South Africa is not threatened, in fact has benefited from human disturbance, however hybridisation of the species with the Northern Mallard Anas platyrhynchos represents a threat to the integrity of the species. It is hunted by humans, but there is no evidence to suggest that this affects its numbers significantly.


Ask Aves Birding Tours/Safaris/Adventures to create a tour for you or book on one of the following Aves Birding Tour/Safaris/Adventures to see these beautiful ducks: -

Aves Arid Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure

Aves Eastern Cape Birding Tour / Safari /Adventure.

Aves Highlands / Tembe Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves KZN Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves North East Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves North West Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves Western Cape Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves West Coast Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.


Back Back to top

Follow JoSievers on TwitterCape Town Tourism

Kwikwap Website Consultant: Melanie

Hits to date: 2676908 This business website was developed using Kwikwap

Copyright © 2021 . All Rights Reserved.