Ringed Teal


Ringed Teal Fast Facts

  • Location: South America
  • Habitat: Tropical, swampy forests and marshy clearings in well-wooded lowlands
  • Lifespan: Up to 15 years in captivity, wild lifespan is unknown
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Length: 36 - 38cm
  • Weight: 300 - 340g


The ringed teal is a small duck from the South American forests. This species shows sexual diamorphism, which means that the male and female look different to each other. They are a vocal species of duck, often calling to each using cat like sounds. They have webbed feet with long nails, which help them to grip the branches when they are perched in trees. They are specially adapted to spending time in the trees with unusually long toenails for ducks. This adaptation helps as they also nest high up in tree hollows.



They forage for a aquatic plants, invertebrates and seeds.



When breeding season occurs the ringed teal will form strong bonds, which can last just for the season or for a lifetime. The bond will be formed by the male performing courtship ritual which consists of preening, flashing the iridescent green patches on his wings, and swimming in a figure of eight around the female whilst vocalizing. The nests are formed in hollow tree cavities, where the female will lay between 6 and 12 eggs. The male and female will incubate the eggs for 29 days, whilst the male will also defend the nest to help protect the female and their eggs. Once hatched the chicks needs to jump from the nest and make their way to water. The parents will defend the chicks for up to 50 days.


Threats + Conservation

This species is considered least concern, however their population is declining in the wild. The threats that they face include destruction of their habitat, hunting and illegal pet trade.


Fun facts

These little ducks nest in tree hollow high up, meaning their chicks must jump from the nest before they can fly. Once hatched the chicks will rub themselves on their parents to help waterproof their downy feathers.


Ringed Teal Gallery

Callonetta leucophrys


What shall we discover next?

Egyptian Fruit Bats

Black Faced Ibis

Polynesian Tree Snail

Southern Three Banded Armadillo