Black Belly Tree Duck
The Black Belly Tree Duck or Red-Billed Tree Duck is found throughout central and south America. Migrating flocks may penetrate as far north as Texas.
Like most tree ducks blackbellies prefer a warm climate, however they can be kept in northern states as long as some protection is given from the winter cold.
In the aviary the Black Belly is one of the more common species tree kept today in the USA.
Like all tree ducks they are very social and do better if kept in small groups rather than in single pairs.
They are typically easy to breed, males often will mate with more than one female, we have often successfully breed this species in trios.
Breeding season begins in the spring and can last into the fall in warmer climates. Hens often produce second and even third clutches if eggs are removed before hatching.
Our Blackbellies usually prefer to nest in raised wood duck style boxes but they also will nest on the ground under natural cover or in nesting boxes.
Clutches consist of 8-14 white eggs which are incubated for about 26 days. Often the male and female take turns incubating the nest.
The ducklings of this species are very cute like most of the tree ducks and are easy to raise. If hens are allowed to hatch and keep their offspring they are often ferocious mothers and the aggression toward other ducks in the aviary can become a problem.