Ringed Teal

Callonetta leucophrys

Dabbling Duck

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.

About the Species

The ringed teal is a surface feeder known as a "dabbling duck". While swimming, ringed teals hold their tail horizontally so it does not touch the surface of the water.

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.

Words From the Experts


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.


Did You Know?

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


14-15 inches | 11-12 ounces


Water plants, insects and seeds


Raptors, foxes, wild cats

Natural Defenses

Swimming and diving


Clutch 6-12 eggs


Least concern

Life Expectancy

10-15 years in human care

  • Saving Animals From Extinction
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