Cape Teal Duck

Anas capensis

Species Information

The cape teal pair found in the pond at Chew Valley can be found dabbling and diving, looking for extra snacks on the pond floor!

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Cape teals can be found in all sorts of freshwater and saline habitats across a large range in sub-Saharan Africa.

This small, dabbling duck is covered in grey mottled feathers with a pink bill and red eyes..

Their diet mainly consists of invertebrates and aquatic plants, but they also feed on crustaceans and amphibians, such as tadpoles.

Up to 30 years!

These ducks are nomadic but rarely travel far away nor migrate. They are also one of the few dabbling duck species that actually dive and pursuit food. They achieve this by closing their wings, unlike dabbling ducks who keep their wings open.

After heavy rains when food is plentiful during the breeding season between March – May, the monogamous pairs begin elaboratively courting. This involves strange vocalisations such as high-pitched whistling from males, mutual preening, and swimming around in circles whilst raising their wings. Nests are then built using aquatic vegetation materials and their feathers in shallow dips alongside the water shoreline. Females solely incubates up to 13 eggs for about 28 days. The chicks are born precocial, following the mother to the water almost immediately, as they begin instinctively swimming, diving, and dabbling. They are good parents, aggressively defending their ducklings against potential threats and emitting loud calls to warn their offspring to take cover.

Least Concern

Like many cartoons portray, these ducks have teeth! Well, tooth-like serrations around their bill, which likely indicates that filter feeding is important to cape teals!