WHITE-BACKED DUCK Thallasornis leuconotus

A widespread but local species in southern Africa, especially the east, it took us years to even see one. It is wholly tied to water and spends much of the day in vegetated areas, being crepuscular in its feeding habits and rarely flying. Pairs mate for life and breeding is determined by water levels, it is non-migratory but there is some dispersal in the rainy season.
Seemingly not closely related to any other ducks, it was thought to be a relative of stifftails but is now considered closest to whistling-ducks. Almost tailless and with legs well to the rear, it is almost unable to walk on land. A distinct race occurs on Madagascar.

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