Anas castanea

Description

The Chestnut Teal is a small dabbling duck with a high forehead and rounded head. Males are distinctive, having a glossy green head, chestnut brown neck, breast and flanks, dark brown upper body and wings, and a black under-tail with contrasting white patch. Females are mottled dark brown and grey, with a pale throat streaked brown and a dark eye stripe. In both sexes the eye is a deep red, the bill is blue-grey and the legs and feet are green-grey. The wings have a dark glossy green to purple speculum (panel) edged white and the under-wing is brown.

Distribution

The Chestnut Teal is found in south-western and south-eastern Australia. In the east, it is found from Rockhampton, Queensland to Ceduna, South Australia, being most common in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.

Lifespan

The Chestnut Teal Duck can live for 15 - 20 years in captivity.

Size

The Chestnut Teal Duck measures between 35 - 50 centimetres in length.

Diet

The Chestnut Teal eats seeds and insects, along with some vegetation, as well as molluscs and crustaceans in more coastal habitats.

Habitat

The Chestnut Teal is found on wetlands in coastal regions, and is one of the few ducks able to tolerate high salinity waters, although it still needs fresh water for drinking. It will also use open freshwater lakes, reservoirs and sewage ponds during dry seasons.

Breeding

Breeding season is during July to November. Chestnut Teals form monogamous pairs that stay together outside the breeding season. The female Chestnut Teal will produce 9 - 11 eggs and will incubate them for approximately 56 days.