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Home » Information » Knob-Billed Duck in Uganda (“Sarkidiornis melanotos”)

Knob-Billed Duck in Uganda (“Sarkidiornis melanotos”)

Knob-Billed Duck

What to Know About the Knob-billed Duck in Uganda?

The Knob-Billed Duck in Uganda is one of the African Uganda Bird Species seen during Uganda Birding watching tours. The knob-billed duck or African comb duck, belongs in the family-Anatidae, Kingdom-Animalia, Phylum-Chordata, Class-Aves, Order-Anseriformes, and Genus-Sarkidiornis.

It is one of the largest species of duck with the length from 56 to 76 cm, wingspan from 116 to 145 cm and weight from 1.03 to 2.9 kg. the African comb duck is found in Budongo tropical rain forest in Uganda.

How Does the Knob-billed duck is Uganda Look Like?

The Knob-billed Duck has a characteristic look with the fleshy knob of the male. The grownup male has blackish upper body parts, wing-coverts and flight feathers with green, bluish-purple and bronze gloss.

The tail is grey. The lower body parts are white, except the greyish flanks and some narrow black bars on breast sides.

The under tail-coverts are white, often tinted yellow. Head and neck are white with black markings. Crest and nape appear almost black, due to focus of black spots.

It has a fleshy, blackish knob at base of the upper jaw. The bill is dark; eyes are dark brown. Legs and webbed feet are blackish.

During breeding, the knob becomes much larger, and the sides of head and neck become yellowish-buff.

The female is smaller and duller than male, and she lacks the fleshy knob. Her plumage is less glossy. however, they are similar.

The juvenile is brownish with dark brown crown and upper-parts, and scaled underparts.

How Does the Knob-billed Duck in Uganda Sing and Make Calls?

The Knob-billed Duck is frequently quiet however it may sometimes giver some low croaking sounds.

During the breeding season, it utters hoots and murmurs during the displays or when fighting against rivals. females give quacks and grunts. A hoarse, whistled sound can be heard during the flight.

How Does the Knob-billed Duck in Uganda Feed?

The Knob-billed Duck forages mainly on water plants, invertebrates and small fish when walking in shallow water.

It grazes on land, and takes terrestrial insects. it feeds mainly in the early morning and the late evening and spends most of its time resting on bank or islet during the day.

How Does the Knob-billed Duck in Uganda Nest?

They nest on the ground in tall grass or within stones near water, or in cavity in bank or wall. Normally, that same nest-site is used year after year.

The nest is a platform made with sticks and rough grass. It is lined with softer materials such as grass, reeds, leaves and feathers, but no down.

How Does the Knob-billed Duck in Uganda Breed?

It breeds individually or in pairs, and also in small colonies of 30 to 40, mostly with other duck species.

In the dry season, they gather in larger numbers at water bodies. The pairs form at the beginning of the rainy season.

The dominant males may copulate with two or more females. These ducks can breed in loose colonies. The male usually defends its family but not the nest-site.

How Does the Knob-billed Duck in Uganda Reproduce?

A female knob-billed duck lays 7-15 yellowish-white eggs, and incubates during about 28-30 days. The chicks have greyish-brown down above and yellowish face and underparts at the hatching time.

They are social and the family is often seen in small group after hatching. The young fledge about ten weeks later.

They may perform “dump-nesting” with a communal nest for several females. The clutch may contain up to 50 eggs. The male defends his wife and may be aggressive against intruders if his young are threatened.

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