Kingdoms / Animalia / Craniata / Aves / Anseriformes / Anatidae / Anas / Species
< >  Anas aucklandica - Flightless teal (Click photographs/illustrations: full picture & further details)









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General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

Auckland duck
Brown teal
Auckland Islands flightless teal
Auckland Islands teal
Auckland Island flightless duck
Auckland duck - Anas aucklandica aucklandica
Auckland teal - Anas aucklandica aucklandica
Campbell teal - Anas aucklandica nesiotis
Campbell Island flightless teal - Anas aucklandica nesiotis
Aucklandente (German)
Cerceta de la Isla Auckland y Castaņa (Spanish)
Anas castanea aucklandica

Names for newly-hatched

Duckling, downy.

Names for non-breeding males or other colour-phases


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Species Author

Debra Bourne

Major References

B1, B3, B5, B7, B8, B19, B19-Suppl., B25, B44.9.w1.

Aviculture references:
B7, B29, B30, B40, B94, B128.w1
D1, D8

Other References

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TAXA Group (where information has been collated for an entire group on a modular basis)

Parent Group

Specific Needs Group referenced in Management Techniques


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Aviculture information


General Information:
  • Dabbling Ducks are generally hardy, easy to maintain and easy to breed. Shelter may be required by some of the smaller species in winter. They should be provided with cover (including marginal pond cover) and loafing areas as well as water. A pen which is 50% water is suggested. The water may be shallow (i.e. no more than two feet deep is required), and muddy areas for dabbling in are also appreciated. These ducks are generally good in mixed collections, although the smaller and quieter species may be bullied. Territorial disputes between ducks of the same species may be avoided by keeping only one pair of each species in an enclosure, unless the area is very large. For a single pair of ducks a pen are of 50 to 100 square metres, depending on the size of duck, should be provided.
  • A diet based on wheat and pellets is suggested, with maintenance pellets changed to breeders pellets for the breeding season. Bread and greenfood are also appreciated. Grit should always be available, with soluble grit (e.g. oystershell grit) as a calcium source when breeding.
  • Most species are ground nesters and both close ground cover and ground level nest boxes should be provided. Hand-rearing is generally preferred, as these ducks are generally poor parents in captive conditions, particularly in enclosures shared with other waterfowl. These ducks are prone to hybridization, particularly with closely related species, which should be kept apart from one another.

(B7, B29, B30, B40, B94, B128.w1, D1)

Species-specific information:

Aviornis UK Ringing Scheme recommended average ring size: L 11.0mm (D8).

Management Techniques

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External Appearance (Morphology)

Measurement & Weight

Length (Average including Anas chlorotis - Brown teal) 17-19 inches, 43-48cm (B3); 36-48cm (B1).
Adult weight General Anas aucklandica nesiotis 11.1-17.6 ounces (from three birds) (B8).
Male Anas aucklandica aucklandica 15.0-21.9 ounces (B8).
Female Anas aucklandica aucklandica 13.2-15.3 ounces (B8); estimated 450g (B3).
Newly-hatched weight --
Growth rate --

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Adult Bill Male Blue-grey (B3, B5, B25)
Variations (If present) --
Eyes (Iris) Male Dark brown (B25).
Variations(If present) --
Juvenile Bill Blue-grey (B3, B5, B25).
Eyes (Iris) Dark brown (B25).

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Adult Male Brownish-grey (B25), yellowish-brown (B5).
Variations (If present) --
Juvenile Brownish-grey (B25); yellowish-brown (B5).

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Adult Male Smaller, darker, less chestnut than Anas chlorotis - Brown teal (B8). Head and neck dark brown, sides slightly glossed green, narrow white eye-ring. Breast and flanks vermiculated dark chestnut brown and buff, shading to abdomen buff-brown, upperparts, rump, tail and uppertail coverts dark brown with paler feather edges, undertail coverts blackish, sides of ventral region greyish. Wing short, dark brown, greater coverts rusty-buff tips, secondaries variably green-glossed black, narrowly white-tipped (B8, B25).
Variations (If present) Female:- Duller than male. Plumage all dark brown with paler feather edges. No green gloss on head, narrower white eye-ring; wing similar to male (B5, B8, B25).

Eclipse:- Similar to female (B5, B25).

Anas aucklandica nesiotis:- Browner generally, and darker; no vermiculations on underparts, wing lacks distinct speculum. (B5, B8, B25)

N.B. Many males of both subspecies remain in duller plumage all year, without showing brighter breeding plumage. Differences between males and female usually minimal (B1, B5, B7, B25).

Juvenile Similar to female (B3, B5).

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Newly-hatched Characteristics

General: Upperparts dark brown with buff markings; underparts buff; face brown, streaked (B1, B5, B7).
Bill: Grey (B5, B7, B8).
Feet: Grey (B5, B7).

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Reproductive Season

Time of year October to December or January (B3, B25); December to January (B1).
No. of Clutches --

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Nest placement and structure

On the ground, concealed in dense vegetation (B5, B8).

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Egg clutches

No. of Eggs Average --
Range 3-4 (B3, B8)
Egg Description Cream to light tan (B3, B8). size: 65 x 44mm; weight: about 75g (B3).

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About 30 days (B8)

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Anas aucklandica aucklandica: 50-60 days (B8).

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Sexual Maturity

Males Presumed one year old (Anas standard).
Females Presumed one year old (Anas standard).

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Feeding Behaviour

Adults Feed mainly on land, and utilise ebbing tides. Sieve peaty ooze, probe for invertebrates in peat, in rotting kelp and seaweed, and on sheep carcasses (probably for fly larvae) (B3, B5, B8).
Newly-hatched Actively feed in streams and burrow in forest litter (B8).

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Parental Behaviour

Nest-building By female (B8).
Incubation By female, with male remaining close by (B3).
Newly-hatched Both sexes tend (B8).


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Social Behaviour

Intra-specific Territorial all year (B8).
Inter-specific Sometimes nest near yellow-eyed penguins and Hooker's sealions (B8).

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Sexual Behaviour

Monogamous, probably permanent pair bonds (B3, B8).

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Predation in Wild

Skuas main predator on the islands. Eliminated from larger islands by introduced species such as cats, rats and pigs (B8).

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Activity Patterns

Rest during the day in petrel burrows or under rocky ledges. Anas aucklandica aucklandica also frequently spend the day in kelp beds and are able to use their short wings to 'fly' down from cliffs to the sea (B3, B8).
Circadian Mainly nocturnal, particularly Anas aucklandica nesiotis (B5, B8).

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Natural Diet


Aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, marine crustaceans, algae and sea lettuce (B8).

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Range and Habitat

Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)


Auckland and Campbell Islands (B19).

Anas aucklandica aucklandica Auckland Islands, formerly on Auckland Island, now restricted to Enderby, Rose, Adams, Ocean, Ewing, Dundas, Monumental, French, Friday, Disappointment Islands (B1, B8).

Occasional and Accidental




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Coasts, but on larger islands also inland along edges of streams, small lakes, bogs (B5, B8, B19).

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Intraspecific variation

Populations of Auckland Islands and Campbell Islands usually recognised as separate subspecies, Anas aucklandica aucklandica and the smaller, darker brown Anas aucklandica nesiotis respectively.

Anas chlorotis - Brown Teal is often considered as a subspecies of Anas aucklandica, thus Anas aucklandica chlorotis - New Zealand Brown Teal, with the complete species Anas aucklandica being termed the Brown teal (B1, B3, B5).

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Conservation Status

Wild Population -

Appear reasonably secure on islands without introduced predators, but small size of population of Anas aucklandica nesiotis, and reliance on a single island, is of concern (B8).

Vulnerable (B44.9.w1).

CITES listing CITES II (B1)
Red-data book listing Vulnerable (W2).
Threats Main threat introduced species; these prevent successful reintroduction onto larger islands (B8, B44.9.w1).

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Captive Populations

Small numbers of birds maintained in captive breeding programmes (B8).

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