Hottentot Teal Duck
The Hottentot Teal Duck breed year round, depending on rainfall, and stay in small groups or pairs. They build nests above water in tree stumps and use vegetation. Ducklings leave the nest soon after hatching, and the mother’s parenting is limited to providing protection from predators and leading young to feeding areas. This species is omnivorous and prefers smaller shallow bodies of water.
The Hottentot Teal Duck has a black cap which extends to just below the dark-brown eyes, black nape, a whitish-buff colored lower face and throat. a dark patch on the upper neck or ear, pale blue beak with black line running down middle, the neck, breast and front flanks are grey-brown with dark brown spots, buff rear-flanks and abdomen, dark-brown back, rump and tail, dark-brown wings with slight green-blue gloss and a green iridescent speculum, and bluish-grey legs and feet. Both sexes are similar.
Size: – Typical Adult is 12-14 inches.
Food: – Insects, larvae, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic vegetation, seeds, and roots.
Habitat: – Freshwater lakes, marshes, pools, and streams in eastern and southern Africa.
Breeding Season: – January to April in South Africa or June to October in eastern Africa (Kenya).
Eggs: – 5 to 9 (creamy or buff color).
Notes: – The Hottentot Teal Duck is a very small dabbling duck and the smallest duck in Africa. It has a similar plumage to the Puna Teal and the Silver 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.