African Yellow-billed Duck (Anas undulata) is common in southern and eastern Africa. As its namesake implies, this species has a bright yellow bill that also displays an oval-shaped black spot on the top and tip of the bill. It’s among the 13 mallard-like duck species worldwide. Similar to American and African black ducks, mottled ducks, and mallard hens, the African Yellow-billed Duck displays a gray-brown body with their iridescent green speculum. Females can display a duller green or blue speculum and are only slightly smaller and duller than the males. If the males and females cannot be distinguished by physical attributes, a teal-like vocalization is made by the males while the females sound more like a mallard’s quack. Juveniles can easily be identified from males by their duller plumage. The African Yellow-billed Duck has a light brown belly, a dark brown head, and brown eyes that seem to disappear on their elongated face. From a distance, this species’ body and secondary covert plumage appears spotted or dappled because of the scalloping of light brown edges on the predominately dark brown feathers.
BEST South Africa duck hunting combo. Belongs right up there with Mexico and Argentina plus trophy import is possible.
Combo South Africa duck hunts includes great variety of ducks, geese and upland species, offers an authentic taste of Africa and a refreshingly challenging shotgun adventure. Ramsey Russell worked diligently for years making sure this was the very best South Africa Duck Hunt combo available.
Like many other African species, African Yellow-billed Ducks do not usually migrate. This species is aptly described as “nomadic,” as they prefer to travel short distances in search of water sources during the dry season. African Yellow-billed Ducks will form large flocks across their wide range, and can be seen in countries including Angola, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Even with this wide range and lack of migration, their population remains stable.
African Yellow-billed Ducks ARE omnivorous species, preferring nocturnal feeding in fresh and brackish waters. Their diet includes crustaceans, insects and their larva, grains from agricultural crops, and all parts of aquatic and terrestrial plants. This species frequents both natural and manmade water sources, as well as ephemeral and permanent water bodies such as lakes, streams, marshes, dams, and artificial reservoirs.
AFRICAN YELLOW-BILLED DUCK. Another of about a dozen species in the world mallard complex, African yellow-bills are ubiquitous through South Africa. They prefer freshwater habitats, utilizing everything from stock tanks to small, reed-rimmed marshes. Named for their bright yellow bills that makes them unique among Africa waterfowl species. Similarly to mallards, they exhibit flock behavior except during breeding season. Hens have a coarse descending mallard-like quack, drakes a slight whistle. Non-migratory, like many other mallard-like duck species worldwide, they don’t trigger at calling as do mallards oftentimes, but calling is helpful. There’s not much continental migration in the Southern Hemisphere come to think of it. In Argentina, Peru, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, waterfowl are more nomadic than migratory, moving as necessary to exploit food and water resources, but I digress. Responding to decoys and light calling, pouring over surrounding trees, fluttering over the water, positioning themselves, their whitish underwings strobe in stark relief to darker bodies especially in low lighting. In hand, African Yellow-billed Duck drakes slightly larger but look similar to hens. Same for most other mallard-like species. Interesting that mallards are the single exception. Double white wing bars framing a bright green to blue speculum that pops like a crown jewel. Gray-brown body plumage looks scalloped, is notably lighter than the African Black Duck, another mallard-like species. A dark black stripe on top of bright yellow bill. Last year’s hosted trip cancelled due to pandemic, am looking forward to South Africa in late-August. Full sampling of ducks, geese and upland game birds. Took a few years to organize the perfect 2-province package, but worth it. For shooting volume, quality species comparable to Mexico or Argentina as a wingshooting destination. Yes, birds can be imported. And amazing Africa! For more duck hunting in South Africa and worldwide, follow @ramseyrussellgetducks in IG.