The male ringed teal has a chestnut back, pale gray flanks, and buff brown chest covered with speckles. A black band runs from the top of its head down to the nape.
The ringed teal has long toes with strong, pointed claws. This adaptation allows them to sit and nest in trees. Like all wood ducks, the ringed teal's gait is peculiar, giving the effect of limping because they nod on only every other step. The male and female calls differ. The male has a soft long whistle; the female has short, harsh quack. Chicks obtain oil for waterproofing their feathers by rubbing against their mother's abdominal plumage.
These birds are a small type of dabbling duck. They like to feed on pond weeds. Only the females can actually quack! The males have a very soft descending whistle.
The ringed teal is one of the smallest ducks in the world.
S. Brazil to Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and NE Argentina
Wetlands, ponds, small streams, marshy clearings in low woodlands
Size 14-15 inches, weight 11-12 ounces
Water plants, insects and seeds
Raptors, foxes, wild cats
Swimming and diving
Clutch 6-12 eggs. Nests are in holes or other tree cavities.
Life expectancy in the wild is unknown, 10-15 years in human care.