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

Quotes

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.

Courtney

Did You Know?

The ringed teal is one of the smallest ducks in the world.

Facts

Origin

S. Brazil to Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and NE Argentina

Habitat

Wetlands, ponds, small streams, marshy clearings in low woodlands

Size

Size 14-15 inches, weight 11-12 ounces

Diet

Water plants, insects and seeds

Predators

Raptors, foxes, wild cats

Natural Defenses

Swimming and diving

Reproduction

Clutch 6-12 eggs. Nests are in holes or other tree cavities.

Status

Least concern

Life Expectancy

Life expectancy in the wild is unknown, 10-15 years in human care.

  • Saving Animals From Extinction
  • Culture Builds Florida
  • Florida Association of Zoos and Aquariums
MENU