Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Ringed teal

Callonetta leucophrys

Small distinctive duck with beautiful iridescent green plumage and blue bill. Males have speckled, pinkish breasts and a light tan head that is bordered by a striking black line of plumage. The black line extends down to the base of the neck and then partially around it, forming an incomplete ring. Considered a dabbling duck, meaning it does not submerge in the water, but swims and dips its bill, head, and neck into the water to filter out and forage for food.

Range & Habitat

Range is throughout South American forests and wetlands, predominately occurring within marshes and swamps with abundant vegetation; can be even seen perched on fences or low trees. The species is extant through Uruguay, Argentina, the Plurinational states of Bolivia, Brazil, & Paraguay.

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Population trend is stable, and the number of mature individuals is between 6,700-67,000. The species is suspected to be stable due to no evidence pointing to declining populations or substantial threats.

Diet

Omnivore; feeds on a variety of aquatic plants, insects, seeds, small fish, snails 

Life Span

13 years

Fun Facts about the Ringed teal

  • Ringed teals are wood ducks.  They nest in holes or other tree cavities that they have lined with down.   
  • Ringed Teals form strong monogamous bonds, in which both parents help incubate the eggs averaging around 6 to 11 eggs a clutch.  
  • Ducklings are required to leap out of elevated nest up in South American trees in order to follow their parents’ lead.
  • Ringed teals are one of the smallest ducks in the world at a length of 36-38cm

Sources

e-Bird, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo: Ringed Teal - Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo

BirdLife International. 2016. Callonetta leucophrys. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: Callonetta leucophrys (Ringed Teal) (iucnredlist.org). Retrieved on July 23, 2021.

Ringed Teal North Carolina Zoo: Ringed Teal | North Carolina Zoo (nczoo.org) Retrieved July 23, 2021

Updated July 23, 2021
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