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African Black Duck
Anas sparsa



Fascinating Facts

  • African black ducks commonly feed in swift-running streams. They forage by either standing on top of partially submerged rocks and jabbing under the rocks with their bills or by diving in rapids or at the base of waterfalls.

Physical Characteristics

The African Black Duck is an entirely black duck with white marks on its back. It is a medium sized duck and is similar in size but when seen in pairs the male is noticeably bigger. Their egg quantity ranges from 4 to 8 eggs.


It lives in central and southern Africa. It is also known as the black river duck, or (A. s. leucostigma) West African black duck or Ethiopian black duck.

Their diet consists of larvae and pupae usually found under rocks, aquatic animals, plant material, seeds, small fish, snails, and crabs.

Social Behavior

It is a very shy and territorial duck. It is usually seen in pairs or small flocks. It breeds throughout the year in different areas. Incubation is about 30 days by the mother and the fledgling period is 86 days and only the mother takes care of the young. Though it likes to stay in rivers and streams during the day it prefers large open waters during the night.

Status In The Wild

The species is threatened by deforestation in Kenya, and it is vulnerable to habitat loss through river degradation such as dam building, water extraction, siltation, pollution, clearing of riparian vegetation and alien biota.