Our Beautiful World

Teal-ducks in Oceania/Pacific   kommer

Anas gracilis Nomadeand Grey Teal oc
Anas castanea Kastanjeand Chestnut Teal oc
Anas aucklandica Bronseand Auckland IslandsTeal oc
Anas nesiotis Campbelland Campbell Islands Teal oc
Anas chlorotis Kobberand Brown Teal nz
Salvadorina waigiuensis Tigerand Salvadori's Teal oc

Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos, Kaskadeand, Blue Duck oc
Merganetta armata, Strømand, Torrent Duck sa


Teal is a medium blue-green colour.
It has its name from the Anas crecca, whose name is 'Common Teal', a member of the duck-family,
whose eyes are sorrounded by this speciel colour.

Anas gracilis, Nomadeand, Grey Teal oc

Grey Teal, Queensland, Australia, Sept. 2008
Photo: Glen Fergus

The Grey Teal, Anas gracilis, 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 colouration, in contrast to the related Chestnut Teal, whose male and female are strikingly different.
The Grey Teal has almost identical colouration to the female Chestnut Teal and the Grey can only be distinguished by its lighter coloured neck and paler face. Juveniles are paler than adults, especially on the head.

The Grey Teal nests near its favoured freshwater lakes and marshes, usually on the ground, but also in tree holes or rabbit burrows.

Grey Teal, Anas gracilis. This beautiful photo of a nesting pair of Grey Teal,
was taken at the Humbug Scrub Sanctury, near Adelaide, Australia

Photo: Ron's Australian Wildlife Photo's

This is a vocal duck, especially at night. The male gives a soft preep, and the female has a loud quack.

The Grey Teal is a gregarious species. In Australia it is nomadic, rapidly colonising suitable habitat following rain.
In 1957, large numbers fled Australia, moving to New Zealand to escape drought.

It was formerly considered a subspecies of the Sunda Teal, as Anas gibberifrons gracilis.

Widespread throughout its large range, the Grey Teal is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Anas castanea, Kastanjeand, Chestnut Teal oc

Male Chestnut Teal. Taken in Victoria, Australia in June 2008
Photo: Fir0002/Flagstaffotos
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version

The Chestnut Teal is darker and a slightly bigger bird than the Grey Teal.

The male has a distinctive green coloured head and mottled brown body.
The female has a brown head and mottled brown body. The female is almost identical in appearance to the Grey Teal.

The female Chestnut Teal has a loud penetrating "laughing" quack repeated rapidly nine times or more.

Female Chestnut Teal. Taken in Victoria, Australia in March 2008
Photo: Fir0002/Flagstaffotos
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version

The Chestnut Teal is commonly distributed in south-eastern and south-western Australia, while vagrants may occur elsewhere.
Tasmania and southern Victoria are the species’ stronghold, while vagrants can be found as far north as New Guinea
and Lord Howe Island.

The Chestnut Teal prefers coastal estuaries and wetlands, and is indifferent to salinity. This bird is an omnivore.

Chestnut Teal, Anas castanea, female with 5 ducklings, 2 albino, Tasmania, Australia
Photo: D. Gordon E. Robertson

click on the following link to see videos of Chestnut Teal

DucklingChestnut Teals form monogamous pairs that stay together outside the breeding season, defend the nest site
and look after the young when hatched. Nests are usually located over water, in a down-lined tree hollow about 6–10 m high.
Sometimes nests are placed on the ground, among clumps of grass near water.
The young hatch and are ready to swim and walk within a day.

Anas aucklandica, Bronseand, Auckland IslandsTeal oc

Endemic to New Zealand, the brown teal has evolved over the centuries into three subspecies, one on the New Zealand
mainland and offshore islands, The Brown Teal, Anas chlorotis, and the other two on sub-Antarctic islands in the
Campbell and Auckland groups, Campbell Islands Teal, Anas nesiotis, and Auckland Islands Teal, Anas aucklandica.
The latter two species are flightless and, with the introduction of cats to these islands, were virtually eliminated from all
but a few predator free islets.

We have wsome difficulties with pictures here, as all three species also are called Brown Teals

Brown Teal on Tiritiri Matangi Island, Auckland, New Zealand. June 2003
Photo: Avenue

When you think of ducks you normally think of lakes, marshes and rivers — to consider a duck on the sea is almost like
a duck out of water. However, the combined effect of habitat loss and predation has meant that now the only place you will
ever really catch sight of our little brown teal is off the coast.

Not only has the drainage of our wetlands and the reclamation of estuaries left the brown teal with little choice but to find another
place to live, the fact that at least every second New Zealander wants to live and/or holiday on the seashore does not make the
mainland coast a great second option either, which leaves only the offshore islands.

The Pateke has a small width head with a uniform dark brown face and a fine white ring around the eye.
Most of its body is dark brown with pale edges to the feathers although the breast is chestnut.
The bill is a bluish black colour while the legs and feet are slate grey.

Pateke feed on aquatic or marine invertebrates which they scoop off the water surface or mud in shallow water estuaries,
freshwater wetlands, in peaty pools and sheltered coastal bays. They may also be seen probing seaweed on the beach or even
rummaging through the bush, especially at night, as they are mainly nocturnal feeders.

Brown teal tend to flock at traditional roosting sites when not feeding although, during the breeding season,
these flocks are mainly juveniles and non-paired adults.

The existence of communal roosting sites has allowed fairly accurate census of the remaining populations and there are
estimated to be only 2500 birds remaining in the wild.

As well as loss of habitat, hunting, predation and disease have also played a part in the rapid decline in teal.
The bird’s reluctance to fly and its flocking nature made brown teal an easy target for hunters and, even though they
have had legal protection since 1921, the killing goes on, as one duck looks much like another.
Text: http://nzbirds.com/birds/pateke.html

ARKive video - Auckland Islands teal - overview
Auckland Islands teal, Anas aucklandica - Overview
BBC Natural History Unit

The Auckland Islands Teal is smaller and raker than the Brown Teal of the main islands of New Zealand, a species that it was
once considered conspecific with (of or the same species).

The plumage is all over brown with a hint of green on the neck and a conspicuous white eyering. The female is slightly darker
than the male. The wings are very small and the species has, like the related Campbell Island Teal, lost the power of flight.

The Auckland Islands Teal is mostly crepuscular to nocturnal, preferring to hide from predators
(New Zealand Falcons and skuas) during the day.

It is carnivrous for the most part, feeding on marine invertabrates, insects, amphipods and other small Invertebrates.
The Auckland Islands Teal are territorial and seldom form flocks.
Text: http://www.avianweb.com/aucklandislandsteals.html

Anas nesiotis, Campbelland, Campbell Islands Teal oc

Campbell Island Teal, endangered species of New Zealand
Photo: Stomac

The Campbell Island Teal, Anas nesiotis, is a small, flightless, nocturnal species of dabbling duck of the genus Anas,
endemic to the Campbell Island group of New Zealand. It is sometimes considered conspecific with the Brown Teal.
The plumage is similar to that of the Auckland Teal, dark sepia with the head and back tinged with green iridescence,
and a chestnut breast on the male, with the female dark brown all over.
Its natural habitat is tussock grassland dominated by Poa tussock grass, ferns and megaherbs.
The species also uses the burrows and pathways of petrel species that nest on the islands.
They are apparently territorial in the wild, and probably feed on amphipods and insects.

The Campbell Island Teal is critically endangered, with a wild population of possibly less than 50 birds.
Once found on Campbell Island, it was driven to extinction there by the introduction of Norway Rats (which ate their
eggs and chicks), and was for a while presumed extinct.

In 1975 it was rediscovered on Dent Island, a small (23 hectare) islet near Campbell that had remained rat-free.
The population was so small that a single event could have driven it to complete extinction; to prevent this from happening,
11 individuals were taken into captivity by the Department of Conservation for captive breeding at the Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre
in 1984 while the rest followed in 1990. They were also put on the list of critically endangered species in 1979.

Campbell Island Teal, Anas nesiotis, at Kiwi Birdlife Park in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Photo: Peter Halasz

Captive breeding was initially very difficult to achieve, as no studies on the behaviour of the species had been carried out in
the wild and "staff [at Mount Bruce] thus had to experiment with a range of techniques to encourage breeding.
Success came in 1994 when Daisy, the only wild origin female to ever lay eggs in captivity, finally accepted a mate.
Subsequently, breeding has occurred every year – wild origin males contributed genes by pairing with captive raised females.

A small population of 25 captive-bred individuals was released on Codfish Island in 1999 and 2000, already intensively
managed and pest-free as an important habitat for the critically endangered Kakapo.

The Kakapo is not only the rarest parrot on the planet but also the strangest.
This bird is kind of fat looking and never, ever takes flight.
This parrot is also known as the longest living bird in the world.
Photo: http://scienceray.com/biology/the-kakapo/

In the final phase of the ecological restoration of Campbell Island (cattle, sheep and cats had already been removed),
the world's largest rat eradication campaign was undertaken by helicopter drops of more than 120 tonnes of poisoned bait
over the entirety of the island's 11,331 hectare area in 2001; this operation successfully removed what was estimated to be the
world's densest population of Norway rats (200,000) from Campbell Island and it was officially declared rat free in 2003.

Fifty Campbell Island Teal, a mix of captive-bred and wild-acclimatised animals (from Codfish), were reintroduced to
Campbell Island in mid 2004, after an absence of more than a century. Subsequent monitoring in 2005 has shown that the
majority of these birds are now thriving in their ancestral homeland.

This species qualifies as Critically Endangered as it has had a tiny breeding population for many years.
The one wild population on Dent Island off Campbell Island is assumed to have been stable.
Recent reintroduction of birds to Campbell Island appears to have successfully established a second population,
and overall numbers are now above the threshold for listing as Critically Endangered, and increasing.
However, this classification will be retained for five years until the species is confirmed to be self-sustaining in
larger numbers in the wild, at which time it will warrant downlisting.

Population justification Goudswaard (1991) estimated 60-100 birds in 1990 while Gummer and Williams (1999) estimated
fewer than 25 breeding pairs. Since that time, the population has increased to over 200 individuals after the reintroduction
of birds onto Campbell Island in 2004 onwards, following a successful rat eradication programme.
However, as the majority of the population is still the first generation of released birds, and the population has not definitely
sustained itself above 50 individuals for 5 years yet, the lower population estimate is retained for Red Listing purposes.

The population has increased to over 200 individuals thanks to a captive-breeding programme and the successful release
of birds on Whenua Hou and more recently mainland Campbell Island.


It lives under thick, chest-high tussock (there are no pools or running water on Dent).
It has been sighted over most of the island, but is probably more common below 100 m, and in damp areas.
It has not been observed feeding on the island, but in captivity it feeds on amphipods, weevils, earthworms, seaweed and
other insects. Birds released onto Codfish Island have been observed feeding on invertebrates in piles of rotting seaweed
along the shore and foraging offshore at night. In captivity, females sometimes lay two clutches of between one and four eggs.
Reintroduced males on Campbell Island hold territories. Birds have dispersed into open upland areas, Dracophyllum forest,
upstream habitats and coastal beaches.
Text above from : BirdLife International (2010) Species factsheet: Anas nesiotis.
Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 11/11/2010

Dracophyllum is a genus of plants belonging to the family Ericaceae, formerly Epacridaceae.
There are some one hundred or so species in the genus, mostly shrubs but also cushion plants and trees, found in New Zealand,
Australia and New Caledonia. The name, Dracophyllum or Dragon-leaf refers to their strange, almost prehistoric appearance.
They are sometimes called Grass-trees.

Anas chlorotis, Kobberand, Brown Teal nz
Dutch: Nieuw-Zeelandse Bruine taling
German: Grünohrente
French: Sarcelle brune de Nouvelle-Zélande

Male Brown Teal, Anas chlorotis, at Karori Sanctuary, Aug. 2007
Photo: Sabine's Sunbird

The NZ Brown Teal, Anas chlorotis, is a unique endemic species that was once widespread throughout New Zealand in very
large numbers and was historically found in every type of New Zealand wetland. Before Europeans arrived the brown teal
population is believed to have been in the millions, with a population spread from Northland to Southland –
and to the Chatham Islands and to Stewart Island.
Brown teal have many unique features that are not found in any other species of waterfowl, and it is these unique features
that place brown teal in a class of their own.


In the early 1800’s brown teal were possibly the most abundant duck species in New Zealand and whilst the brown teal
population declined steadily from the late 1800’s it accelerated from the 1950’s to a level, where over the past 15 years,
numbers declined from a population of c2,500 to c1,200. And to a level where it is now one of the world’s most endangered
species of waterfowl; perhaps the world’s fourth most endangered duck and in imminent danger of premature extinction -
with the expected time for total extinction in the wild being 2015.

Besides being endemic/unique to the New Zealand landscape, it is mainly the behavioural features of brown teal,
which set it apart from all other species of dabbling duck, and in a class of its own.
Brown teal have the unique and extraordinary tendency to hide in grass and overhanging vegetation for most of the day and
whilst this behaviour has been generally described as ‘crepuscular’ it is now felt more appropriate to describe it as ‘nocturnal’.


Yet another unique feature is that in a captive situation there is no possibility of retaining more than one pair of brown teal in
an enclosure, whether it is an aviary or a fenced open pond. Only on ponds of at least c0.2 hectare will a pair of brown teal
tolerate other species of waterfowl.

click on the following link to see videos of Brown Teal
http://ibc.lynxeds.com/species/brown-teal-anas-aucklandica, ssp Anas chlorotis

In small areas not only will a bonded pair of brown teal firstly kill all other brown they will then kill all other species
of duck that dare to invade their territory.
They have also been known to severely chastise both the NZ Paradise Shelduck, Tadorna variegata,
and Black Swan, Cygnus atratus.
From: The New Zealand Brown Teal
By Neil Hayes, haltd@actrix.co.nz

Salvadorina waigiuensis, Tigerand, Salvadori's Teal oc

Anas waigiuensis
Salvadori's Teal   Kachna krahujková  Papuastrømand  Salvadori-eend  Papuansorsa
  Canard de Salvadori Salvadoriente   - Anatra del Salvadori  sazanamigamo  Tigerand
 Nowogwinejka  Kacula pásikavá   Anade Papúa

The Salvadori's Teal or Salvadori's Duck, Salvadorina waigiuensis, is a species of bird native to New Guinea.
It is placed in the monotypic genus Salvadorina.

Initially, it was believed to belong to the "perching ducks", a paraphyletic assemblage of species which generally fell between dabbling ducks and shelducks. With the breaking-up of the "perching ducks", it was rather provisionally placed in the
dabbling duck genus Anas. It was then reinstated in its own genus and moved to the shelduck subfamily Tadorninae,
which also contains the Torrent Duck and Blue Duck which convergently have evolved adaptations to mountain stream habitat.
(Hope to receive info in time next time it changes its family....)

It has a dark brown head and neck, and its body is barred, spotted dark brown and off white, with orange legs and a yellow bill.

It is a secretive inhabitant of fast-flowing streams and alpine lakes between 500 and 3.700m in the mountains.
It is one of only four waterfowl species that are adapted to life on fast-flowing rivers, the other being the Torrent Duck ,
the Blue Duck and Harlequin Duck.

It is an omnivore. It locates its nest near water, and lays 2 to 4 eggs in the dry season.
The Salvadori's Teal is the sole endemic duck species of the island of New Guinea.
The IUCN has listed the bird as vulnerable, and the total population may be slowly declining.
The name commemorates the Italian naturalist Tommaso Salvadori.

This species is widespread, from the low foothills where tumbling rivers spill out of the mountains, to the highest alpine tarns; nonetheless, it occurs in small numbers wherever it occurs, and its specialized habitat requirement ensure that its globa
l population will remain small. It may be declining through hunting and habitat degradation and therefore qualifies as Vulnerable, although further information may show that it is less threatened than currently thought.

It is a small duck, about 43 cm, of montane rivers and lakes. Dark brown head. Body barred and spotted dark brown and
off-white. Yellow bill. Orange legs. None of the many species of duck recorded in New Guinea have a yellow bill
and uniform chocolate head or a barred body.
Whistling-ducks, usually found in the lowlands, combine rather plain heads with pale spots or stripes on the flanks
and Australian White-eyed Duck, Aythya australis, has uniformly plain brown plumage.
Voice Various calls only given in courtship

Salvadorina waigiuensis is endemic to the mountains of New Guinea. It is rare and local at lower altitudes,
there are records at 70 m in Lakekamu Basin, but it occurs across the island in suitable montane habitat.
There are recent records from few locations, a consequence of the inaccessibility of most of its range and the species's
unobtrusive, shy and perhaps nocturnal habits.
The population has been variously estimated to be 2,500-20,000 birds and stable or slowly declining.

Salvadori’s teal, Anas waigiuensis
Endemic to the mountains of New Guinea; found in the bog pond at 5,410 feet

Photo: Tim Laman

Although recorded from 70-4,100 m, this duck is uncommon below 600 m and most common at the highest altitudes.
It breeds beside fast-flowing rivers and streams, and alpine lakes, and has also been recorded on slow-flowing rivers.
It is not sociable, and one rarely encounters anything beside single adults or pairs.

Breeding territories are variable in size owing to local conditions, for instance pairs have been found to occupy 1,600 m
of stream on the Baiyer River but only 160 m on the Ok Menga River. The species uses small tributary streams as well
as main river channels, a factor which may contribute to its perceived rarity.

It lays clutches of two to four eggs alongside rivers or lakes in the dry season.
It is omnivorous, feeding by dabbling and diving.

Click on following link to see videos from IBC

Some local extirpations and declines have been attributed to hunting, predation by dogs, and habitat degradation, largely
through increasing human pressure and siltation, especially from hydroelectric projects, mining and logging,
but these have only impacted small areas.
The stocking of alpine rivers with exotic trout species has been suggested as a potential risk to food sources.
BirdLife International (2010) Species factsheet: Salvadorina waigiuensis.
Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 11/11/2010

Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos, Kaskadeand, Blue Duck

Blue Ducks, Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos, preening at the Auckland Zoo
Photo: Avenue

The Blue Duck, Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos, is a member of the duck, goose and swan family Anatidae
. It is the only member of the genus Hymenolaimus, placed in the shelduck subfamily Tadorninae after previously being
considered part of the paraphyletic "perching duck" assemblage.

The Maori name is whio, which is an onomatopoetic rendition of the males' call.
The blue duck is born with a green beak for just 8 hours after birth; where it then develops to its final colour.

This 54 cm long species is an endemic resident breeder in New Zealand, nesting in hollow logs, small caves and
other sheltered spots. It is a rare duck, holding territories on fast flowing mountain rivers.
It is a powerful swimmer even in strong currents, but is reluctant to fly.
It is difficult to find, but not particularly wary when located.

Whio, Blue Duck, Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos, at Staglands, Akatarawa Valley, NZ
Photo: Karora, July 2007

The blue duck is a dark slate-grey with a chestnut-flecked breast and a paler bill and eye. The pinkish-white bill has fleshy flaps of skin hanging from the sides of its tip. The male's call is an aspirated whistle, and the female's is a rattling growl.

ARKive video - Blue duck - overview
Blue duck, Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos, Overview
NHNZ Moving Images, Dunedin, NZ

This is a very localised species now threatened by predation from introduced mammals especially stoats, competition
for its invertebrate food with introduced trout, and damming of mountain rivers for hydroelectric schemes.
The New Zealand Department of Conservation is presently working on recovery programmes in habitats such as
the Oparara River area of the West Coast, New Zealand and the Milford Track in Fiordland.

The blue duck also features on the reverse side of the New Zealand $10 note.

Merganetta armata, Strømand, Torrent Duck

A pair of Torrent Ducks on the Urubamba River in Urumamba River, Peru
Photo: Brian Ralphs

The Torrent Duck, Merganetta armata, is a member of the duck, goose and swan family Anatidae.
It is the only member of the genus Merganetta. Nowadays, it is placed in the shelduck subfamily Tadorninae after the
"perching duck" assemblage where it was formerly assigned to was dissolved because it turned out to be paraphyletic.
Its closest relative may be the Blue Duck of New Zealand.
(Strange - two birds of same kind, on in South America and one in New Zealand???)

The subspecies taxonomy is quite confusing. Males of the southern nominate subspecies, the Chilean Torrent Duck,
have a grey back and blackish underparts with a chestnut belly. Males of the slightly smaller northern subspecies,
the Colombian Torrent Duck, M. a. colombiana, are paler underneath, with steaked grey-brown underparts.
Males of the third subspecies, the Peruvian Torrent Duck, M. a. leucogenis, are intermediate but very variable in plumage;
some have entirely black underparts (turneri morph). Only males of the Chilean Torrent Duck have a black 'teardrop' mark
beneath the eye. The Peruvian Torrent Duck is sometimes split into not less than 4 subspecies (leucogenis, turneri, garleppi
and berlepschi), but these are more likely simply color variations, as they are not limited to distinct areas.
(So, how comes the Blue Duck into this line?)

A male Torrent Duck standing on rocky banks of the Urumbamba River, Peru., Sept.2009
Photo: Brian Ralphs

This 43–46 cm long species is a resident breeder in the Andes of South America, nesting in small waterside caves and other
sheltered spots. Like the Blue Duck, it holds territories on fast flowing mountain rivers, usually above 1500 m.
It is a powerful swimmer and diver even in white water, but is reluctant to fly more than short distances.
It is not particularly wary when located.

Male Torrent Ducks have a striking black and white head and neck pattern and a red bill.
In flight they show dark wings with a green speculum.

Females of all subspecies are somewhat smaller than the drakes; they have orange underparts and throat,
with the head and upperparts grey and a yellower bill. Juveniles are pale grey above and whitish below.

The male's call is a shrill whistle, and the female's is throatier whistle.

Pingo River at Torres del Paine. Chile, Dec.2005
© www.arthurgrosset.com

This is a declining species now due to competition for its invertebrate food from introduced trout, pollution, forest destruction,
and damming of mountain rivers for hydroelectric schemes. The Chilean population seems to be relatively stable.


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