White-faced whistling ducks average 15 to 19 inches in length and weigh between 1 to 1 ½ pounds. Males are usually smaller than females. The name white-faced whistling duck comes from the bird’s white face and its characteristic three-note whistle. The bill is black, while the throat is white. The back of the head and neck are black. Legs and feet are gray. The lower neck, chest and back are rust colored, while the sides are narrowly barred black and white. The young are dark brown above, creamy yellow below with creamy spots on the back. They are long-legged and long-necked ducks.
Predators include birds of prey and carnivores.