Fulvous whistling ducks have long legs and necks, giving them a distinct profile when flying. When seen standing, fulvous whistling ducks look more goose-like, and actually, they are more closely related to geese than ducks. The male and female look alike with a tawny brown head, chest and belly and darker brown wings and back. Their white-tipped feathers form a silvery border between the belly and wings, and they have a blue-gray bill.
Separate populations of fulvous whistling ducks occur in Asia, Africa, Madagascar, South America, and North America. Prior to about 30 years ago, fulvous whistling ducks did not nest in Florida. Today, nesting fulvous whistling ducks are abundant in rice-growing, freshwater wetland areas of south Florida. In winter, many fly south.
A dabbling duck that make shallow dives and tips-up. Fulvous whistling ducks are filter-feeders that eat rice and other water plants. No obvious courtship displays.
To promote good management for fulvous whistling ducks in Florida, waterfowl management staff encourages shallow flooding of fallow agricultural fields and rice culture in place of sugar cane.