Cuban Tree Duck
The Cuban, West Indian or Black-billed whistling duck is the largest species of the tree duck group. Unlike many of the other tree ducks Cubans habitually perch in trees. They are also considered to be less vocal than most of the others in their genus.
Males and females look alike and both retain the same plumage colors year round.
Some breeders report Cubans to be an aggressive species, with most aggression being particular to other tree duck species.
We have not had this problem with our Cubans, and ours have done well in a mixed collection that does include other species of tree duck.
These ducks are native to several islands of the West Indies, and will prefer a warm climate, however Cubans can be kept in a northern region as long as some protection is given from harsh winter weather.
This species is most active at dusk, and in it's natural environment feeds mostly at night.
As with most tree ducks they are very social and prefer to be kept in groups.
Breeding seasons for Cubans can be anytime May thru September. Nest may be placed in raised wood duck style boxes, or may be made on ground in boxes or under natural cover.
Clutches consist of 6-10 large white eggs and are incubated for about 30 days. The males with often help with incubating the eggs.
The ducklings of this species are not difficult to raise. If the parents are allowed to keep and raise their offspring they often will be very aggressive toward other birds in the aviary. Since Cubans are quite large birds this can be a problem for smaller ducks housed with them.