The African black duck (Anas sparsa) is an entirely black duck with white marks on its back and a blue-green patch on the wings. 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. It is a medium-sized duck and is similar in size but when seen in pairs the male is noticeably bigger. It is a very shy and territorial duck. It is usually seen in pairs or small flocks.

Habitat and Distribution

Though it likes to stay in rivers and streams during the day it prefers large open waters during the night. This duck likes water in the wooded hills of Africa and also like to hide its nests near running water.


It is an omnivore that feeds off of larvae and pupae usually found under rocks, aquatic animals, plant material, seeds, small fish, snails, and crabs.


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. Their egg quantity ranges from 4 to 8 eggs. Also the African black duck makes its cup shaped nest of driftwood and matted grass. Though it builds its nest near running water it is always above flood level and on the ground.