Red Billed Teal Duck
The Red Billed Teal Duck is a dabbling duck which is an abundant resident breeder in southern and eastern Africa typically south of 10° S. This duck is not migratory, but will fly great distances to find suitable waters.
Appearance: – The Red Billed Teal Duck has a dark-brown cap which extends to below the eye, dark-brown nape, a white throat and cheeks, dark-brown eyes, a pinkish-red beak with black running down the middle, dark-brown scalloped upper-parts, much paler scalloped under-parts and flanks, dark-brown wings and secondary flight feathers are buff with a black stripe across them, and dark-grey legs and feet. Both sexes are similar.
Size: – Typical Adult is 17-19 inches .
Food: – Aquatic plants, seeds, roots, grazes on grasses or grain, insects, molluscs, and crustaceans.
Habitat: – Freshwater wetlands, shallow lakes, marshlands, and streams in southern and eastern Africa. They are not migratory but will fly great distances to find suitable waters.
Breeding Season: – January to August in eastern Africa and June to October in southern Africa. After the start of the rainy season.
Eggs: – 5 to 12 (creamy or buff color or greenish-white).
Notes: – The Red-billed Teal (sometimes called the Red-billed Pintail) is an African dabbling duck. This is a quiet duck that likes to feed by grazing on land during the evening or night. It looks similar to the White-cheeked Pintail (Bahama Pintail).
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.