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< >  Anas flavirostris - Speckled teal (Click photographs/illustrations: full picture & further details)
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General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

South-American green-winged teal
South-American teal
Mud teal (Isla Grande, Tierra del Fuego)
Chilean speckled teal (Anas flavirostris flavirostris)
Chilean teal (Anas flavirostris flavirostris)
Yellow-billed teal (Anas flavirostris flavirostris)
Andean speckled teal (Anas flavirostris andium)
Andean teal (Anas flavirostris andium)
Sharp-winged speckled teal (Anas flavirostris oxyptera)
Merida speckled teal (Anas flavirostris altipetens)
Andenente (German)
Chile-Krickente (German)
Sarcelle bec jaune (French)
Sarcelle du Chile (French)
Cerceta barcina (Spanish)
Sarcelle du Chile (Spanish)
Pato jergon (Spanish)
Anas crecca flavirostris
Anas andium
- Andean speckled teal

South-American green-winged teal, South-American teal, Mud teal (Isla Grande, Tierra del Fuego), Chilean speckled teal (Anas flavirostris flavirostris), Chilean teal (Anas flavirostris flavirostris), Yellow-billed teal (Anas flavirostris flavirostris), Andean speckled teal (Anas flavirostris andium), Andean teal (Anas flavirostris andium), Sharp-winged speckled teal (Anas flavirostris oxyptera), Merida speckled teal (Anas flavirostris altipetens), Andenente (German), Chile-Krickente (German), Sarcelle bec jaune (French), Sarcelle du Chile (French), Cerceta barcina (Spanish), Sarcelle du Chile (Spanish), Pato jergon (Spanish), Anas crecca flavirostris, Anas andium - Andean speckled teal.

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, B8, B19, B25, B26.

Aviculture references:
B7, B29, B30, B31,B40, B94, B96, B97, B108, 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:

  • Speckled teal (Chilean teal) are generally winter-hardy; they may be kept on ice-free water, or shelter should be provided. They are suitable for mixed collections with other small ducks. Easy to manage, these ducks are more active at night. Feed as other dabbling ducks: wheat, pellets, greenfood, bread.
  • Easy to breed, raised nest boxes should be provided as well as close cover and ground-level boxes. They may lay as early as end of March in UK, starting in May in central Europe. These ducks may lay second and even third clutch if eggs removed, will also brood reliably if left; drake assists with rearing. Ducklings are simple to rear.
  • Frequent hybridisation (fertile) reported with Anas crecca - Common teal; also ; also hybrids with other Anas species and with Aix sponsa - Wood duck.

(B29, B31, B94, B96, B97, B108)

Aviornis UK Ringing Scheme recommended average closed ring size: Anas flavirostris flavirostris J 9.0mm, other sub-species H 8.0mm (D8).

Management Techniques

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External Appearance (Morphology)

Measurement & Weight

Length 15-17 inches, 38-43cm (B3); 35-45cm (B1)
Adult weight General 600-830g (B1). A. f. oxyptera 390-420g (B3), 13.7-14.9 ounces (B8).
Male A. f. flavirostris average 429g (B3), mean 15.1 ounces (B8)
Female A. f. flavirostris average 394g (B3), mean 13.9 ounces (B8)
Newly-hatched weight --
Growth rate --

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Adult Bill Male Yellow, with black dorsal stripe (culmen and nail) (B3, B5, B25, B26).
Variations (If present) A. f. andium and A. f. altipetens: g grey-blue rather than yellow (B3, B5, B25, B26).
Eyes (Iris) Male Brown (B3, B5, B25, B26).
Variations(If present) --
Juvenile Bill As adults (B5).
Eyes (Iris) Brown (B5).

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Adult Male Grey (B3, B5, B25, B26).
Variations (If present) --
Juvenile --

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Adult Male Head and neck pale grey-brown with black speckling, upperparts dark grey-brown with paler feather edges, underparts including rump, tail and tail-coverts pale brownish grey, with black spotting on breast. Wings grey-brown, greater coverts cinnamon-buff tipped, secondaries metallic green with white tips (B3, B5, B8, B25).
Variations (If present) Female:- May be slightly duller (B1, B3).

Sub-species variations:- A. s. oxyptera (Sharp-winged teal) paler, less markings, underparts almost silver-buff, long pointed scapulars; A. s. andium darker, coarser spotting on breast, purple/green secondaries; A. s. altipetens paler and less marked than A. s. andium. (B5, B25)

Juvenile Duller, with less spotting on breast (B1, B5).

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Newly-hatched Characteristics

General: Upperparts dark brown, with yellow marking on wing continuing down back; underparts including face yellow, brown eyeline and second line below (B5).
Bill: Grey (B5).
Feet: Grey (B5).

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Reproductive Season

Time of year Geographical variation: begin February/ March in Colombia, November and December Peru to north Argentina, late August to September further south in Chile, August in Venezuela (B1, B3, B8, B25).
No. of Clutches May double-brood in the north (lower latitudes) (B1, B3, B25, B26).

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Nest placement and structure

Near water, in thick vegetation, in large forks of trees, using Monk parakeet stick-nests, and holes in banks; also nest under house roofs (B1, B3, B5, B8, B25, B26).

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Egg clutches

No. of Eggs Average --
Range 5-8 (B1, B3, B8, B26)
Egg Description Creamy (B3) or reddish-cream (B8); size: 57x37mm, weight: 39g (B3).

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24-26 days (B8); about 24 days (B1, B3); about 26 days (B26).

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42-49 days (B8); 6-7 weeks (B1).

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Sexual Maturity

Males One year old (B3).
Females One year old (B3).

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Feeding Behaviour

Adults Dabble, head-dip and up-end in shallow, also walk along water’s edge filtering mud, and occasionally dive (B1, B25, B26).
Newly-hatched --

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Parental Behaviour

Nest-building Solitary or in loose groups (B1).
Incubation By female (B3)
Newly-hatched Male assists female in rearing the brood (B3, B5, B8, B25, B26).


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Social Behaviour

Intra-specific Sociable, usually found in small groups (up to 20 birds), sometimes larger flocks outside breeding season, particularly when moulting (B3, B25, B26).
Inter-specific Occasionally found with Anas cyanoptera - cinnamon teal and Anas versicolor - silver teal (B5, B26).

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Sexual Behaviour

Pair bonds appear semi-permanent or permanent (B8, B25).

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Predation in Wild


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Activity Patterns

Stand in groups by the shore, fly low over surface when disturbed, readily perch in high trees (B5, B25, B26).
Circadian --

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Natural Diet


Small invertebrates (insects, crustaceans, amphipods), plus seeds and vegetative parts aquatic plants, and in winter rotting kelp and seeds of pig vine Gunnera sp. (B1, B3, B26).

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Small crustaceans, amphipods, midge larvae (B3).

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Range and Habitat

Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

Normal Andes, 2600-4300metres (B19).

A. f. andium - Andean teal: Colombia (central and eastern Andes), north-west Venezuela, Ecuador (B19).

A. f. flavirostris - Yellow-billed teal: Andes of Peru, west and central Bolivia, northern Chile, northern Argentina, plus lowlands of Chile and Argentina, south to Tierra del Fuego, also Uruguay, Falkland Islands, South Georgia. Winters north to Paraguay and southern Brazil (B19).

[A. f. altipetens eastern Andes of Colombia to north-western Venezuela; A. f. andium Andes of Colombia and northern Equador; A. f. oxyptera Andes from central Peru to north western Argentina; A. f. flavirostris from northern Argentina southward to Tierra del Fuego, Falklands and South Georgia. Movements: high latitude (southernmost) populations migrate as far north as Uruguay, Paraguay, southern Brazil. Andean populations may move to lower altitudes. Island populations sedentary (B1).]

Occasional and Accidental




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Freshwater lakes, ponds, rivers, marshes, wooded swamps usually high altitude; coastal areas in winter (B1, B3, B5, B19, B25, B26).

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Intraspecific variation

Two sub-species currently recognised (Anas flavirostris andium - Andean teal and Anas flavirostris flavirostris - yellow-billed teal or sharp-winged teal) (B19), with blue and yellow bills respectively, but up to four sub-species (A. f. flavirostris - Chilean teal, A. f. oxyptera - sharp-winged teal, A. f. andium - Andean teal, and A. f. altipetens - Merida teal) often described (B1, B3, B5, B8, B25, B26).

Sometimes considered as two species Anas flavirostris - Yellow-billed teal and Anas andium - Andean teal, incorporating the yellow- and blue-billed birds respectively (B8, B19).

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Conservation Status

Wild Population -

Not globally threatened, common and locally abundant (B1). However, blue-billed sub-species are declining (B8).

CITES listing --
Red-data book listing --
Threats Development pressure and hunting, particularly affect the less-numerous blue-billed birds (B8).

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Captive Populations

Yellow-billed races Anas flavirostris flavirostris/ Anas flavirostris oxyptera are common in collections, but the blue-billed birds are not present in any collections (B8).

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