We have often been asked about why we call ourselves White Winged Journeys. Is it a reference to a flight of fantasy or is it just a name that’s got somewhat of a ring to it? Well, we’re glad that people allude to it as such but actually, we’re named after a bird, a duck to be precise.
We get our name from the White Winged Wood Duck. A type of duck that is one of the most critically endangered birds in the world. Once widely found across the landscapes of North East India through South East Asia and on to Java and Sumatra, the White Winged Wood Duck now struggles for its survival. Reports estimate that there are only about 800 left in the wild today with about 450 of them to be found in the dense tropical evergreen forests of North East India, Burma and Bangladesh.
With a black body, a thickly spotted white head, white patches on the wings and orange-ish red eyes, the White Winged Wood Duck is amongst the larger ducks found in the wild. Their favoured habitat is in the midst of dense tropical evergreen jungles in secluded marshy river areas and jungle pools making them a very difficult bird to spot.
Found in the North East of India in the states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, these are some of the most sought after birds to catch a glimpse of. The duck has a ghostly call and in Assam it’s called ‘Deo Haan’ or ‘Spirit Duck’. In fact, such is its significance to the Assamese culture; it’s the State Bird of Assam!
A part of our mission as an ecologically conscious travel company in these beautiful lands is to bring to light stories that are not often recounted. The story of the White Winged Wood Duck requires to be told, to be brought into greater consciousness. And if we can tell this story in our own small way, we’re only doing our duty.