The distinctive waterfowl, named after their unique high-pitched shrill calls and squeaky whistles, are set to be included in 2022 bird training presentations and have been hatched and reared by our keepers here at the zoo.
The ducklings are all named after Mr Men and Little Miss characters, as this year marks the 50th anniversary of the titles, including favourites such as Mr Tickle, Mr Strong, Mr Clumsy, Little Miss Sunshine, Little Miss Chatterbox and Little Miss Naughty.
Zookeeper Tom Wootton is part of the team managing the flock, adopting a method of rearing where the keeper becomes ‘mum’ in the duckling’s eyes.
Tom, who has recently embarked on a specialist animal trainer accreditation led by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the Animal Training and Behaviour Council (ATBC), said:
“White-faced whistling ducks are a great addition for our bird demonstration. The birds are responding really well to training and are making great progress. They are each developing their own individual personalities and suit their names well!”
The ducks will form part of the Winged Wonders presentation in 2022.