Grey Teal Duck
The Grey Teal Duck is a dabbling duck found in open wetlands in New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands. This is a mottled brown duck with white and green flashes on its wings. The male and female grey teal share the same coloration, in contrast to the related chestnut teal, whose male and female are strikingly different. The grey teal has almost identical coloration to the female chestnut teal and the Grey can only be distinguished by its lighter colored neck and paler face. Juveniles are paler than adults, especially on the head.
Appearance: – The Grey Teal duck has a grey-brown plumage, the crown is dark brown with lighter speckles, a whitish throat and chin, bright red eyes, a grey beak, upper-parts and under-parts have dark brown feathers edged with a buff color, the rump and tail are dark brown, the wings are grey-brown with glossy green and black secondaries bordered by white feathers and a large white patch on the under-wings, and the legs and feet are grey. Both sexes are similar.
Size: – Typical Adult is 16-17 inches.
Food: – Aquatic and shoreline vegetation, grasses, crustaceans, insects and larvae.
Habitat: – Open wetlands, marshes, freshwater or brackish lakes, pools and rivers throughout Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. During drought, these ducks travel great distances in search of water.
Breeding Season: – Usually August to December but varies considerably depending on available waterways and food.
Eggs: – 7 to 10 (creamy-white color).
Notes: – The Grey Teal duck is an Australasian dabbling duck. In Australia it is nomadic as it searches for available water particularly during a drought. The Grey Teal can be mistaken for the female Chestnut Teal.
The different types of wild ducks can be grouped into puddle, aka “dabbling” and diving ducks. The dabblers mostly feed in smaller bodies of shallow water or along shorelines, where they are able to tip their bodies forward to reach their food on the bottom. There are divers who feed in deeper water where they dive and pursue their quarry. Some of these birds, the Harlequin Duck for example, actually dives to the bottom of fast-flowing waters and feeds on life forms attached to rocks.