Central South America; Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Boliva
Tropical swampy forests with lots of cover and trees
Length: 14-15 inches
Weight: 11-12 ounces
About 15 years
Wild: Water plants, seeds, occasional insects
Zoo: Waterfowl food, vegetables
Incubation: about 23-29 days
Clutch size: 5-12 eggs
Least Concern (LC)
Female Ringed Teal
About the Animal
Ringed Teals are one of the smallest ducks in the world, reaching only a little over a foot in length. They are “perching ducks” – they have long, strong claws and toes for perching and nesting high off the ground in tree hollows.
This species is considering a “dabbing duck”, meaning they are surface feeders that “dab” the water’s surface eating plants and seeds. They will dive to escape predators if necessary.
Mating and Reproduction
After mating, a tree hollow well off the ground is found and the female lines it with her down. The chicks hatch after a 23-29 day incubation and are precocial, able to swim, walk and feed themselves immediately, although both parents with raise and defend the chick until they fledge (50-55 days).
The scientific name for this species loosely translates to “beautiful duck with white wing patches”.
Where in the Zoo:
The zoo has a male-female pair of Ringed Teals in the Tropical Rainforest building.