A Beautiful Bird “White-Winged Duck”

The white-winged duck or white-winged wood duck (Asarcornis scutulata) is listed as endangered, with shrinking numbers due to its very limited and fragmented numbers, which is declining due to the loss and destruction of its wetland habitats. It is a large duck species, formerly placed in the Cairina (Muscovy duck) genus and affiliated with the dabbling ducks. This species may therefore be classified more accurately in a monotypical genus, as Asarcornis scutulata, which tends to be similar to the redhead (Aythya americana, diving ducks). The duck is of world significance and regarded to be an indicator of wetland habitat health and security. In Assamese it’s referred to as ‘Deo Hans’ or spirit duck thanks to its ghostly call. Its body is black and its head is white and thickly spotted with black, its conspicuous white patches on its wings and orange or red eyes. Length is 66–81 cm (26–32 in) and the wingspan is 116–153 cm (46–60 in). Males weigh 2.94–3.9 kg (6.5–8.6 lb), while females weigh 1.95–3.05 kg (4.3–6.7 lb). The male and female look alike, except the male has glossier feathers and is much bigger and heavier.

White-winged ducks can only with significant effort be found in the wild, as they invest their energy covered up in trees. They are generally found two by two or gatherings of four to six, at times more than ten. They love the shade and a large portion of the day will discover them in segregated wilderness pools, some of the time roosting on trees during the day. Being crepuscular, they are generally dynamic during nightfall and sunrise. Around evening time their uproarious calls reverberation all through the timberland, from a good way, seeming like an apparition. They are found in Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Indonesia. The current world population within the wild is estimated to be between 250-1000 individuals, possibly but 5% of the initial population. These birds molt annual in September or October, being flightless for a fortnight once they enter more densely forested swampy areas for defense from predators. White-winged ducks are omnivores, they eat aquatic plants, nuts, grains, rice, aquatic insects, snails, shellfish, mollusks, snakes, frogs, and fish. The white-winged duck is also present in the central province of Riau in Sumatra, specifically in a major pulp and paper company’s peatland acacia plantations. Up to 16 eggs are laid during a nest inbuilt a tree hole, hollow or fork 3 to 12 meters from the bottom. Incubation is for 33 days, hatching being timed with the start of the heavy seasonal rains. After 14 weeks of being cared for by their parents, the chicks disperse. It’s the state bird of the Indian state of Assam. Even the drainage of swamps and rivers and other types of habitat loss threatens the environment in which they may live. Additional threats include loss of genetic diversity, destruction, hunting, and the gathering of food or pet eggs and chicks. In any case, even populaces inside secured zones are compromised, being every now and again chased by virtue of their great quality meat, just as experiencing unsettling influence and tainting of the environment by contamination and pesticides.