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Red-billed Teal
Anas erythrorhyncha

Anseriforme Order – Anatidae Family

Length: 43 à 48 cm
Weight: 345-954 g

Red-billed Teal has dark brown upperparts, with scaled effect due to pale buff feathers’ edges. Seen in flight, secondaries are pale buff-orange, and we can also see a pale speculum or a wing patch.
Underparts are brown, paler than upperparts, with broad white fringes. Underwings are dark grey-brown, with paler trailing edge.

Fr: Canard à bec rouge
All : Rotschnabelente
Esp : Anade Piquirrojo
Ital : Anatra beccorosso
Nd : Roodbekpijlstaart
Russe : Шилохвость
Sd : Rödnäbbad and   

Photographs by Callie de Wet

Text and photographs by Nicole Bouglouan


HANDBOOK OF THE BIRDS OF THE WORLD vol 1 by Josep del Hoyo-Andrew Elliot-Jordi Sargatal - Lynx Edicions - ISBN: 8487334105

BIRDS OF AFRICA SOUTH OF THE SAHARA by Ian Sinclair and Peter Ryan - Princeton University Press Princeton and Oxford - ISBN: 0691118159

GUIDE DES CANARDS, DES OIES ET DES CYGNES – de Steve Madge - Delachaux et Niestlé - ISBN: 2603013769

Avibase (Lepage Denis)

Wikipedia (Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia)


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Summary Cards


Head has dark brown crown, from forehead to nape, contrasting with pale buff cheeks. Bill is pinkish-red, with a black line in the middle of the upper mandible, and dark brown nail. Eyes are dark brown. Legs and webbed feet are blackish.

Female is slightly smaller than male, and with duller bill.

Juvenile resembles adults, with duller bill, and streaked chest instead mottled.

Red-billed Teal is relatively silent, but during courtship displays, male utters a soft, nasal whistle “ouizzt”, and female gives series of quacks, decreasing in pitch.

Red-billed Teal lives in freshwater wetlands, with shallow water and floating and emergent vegetation.

Red-billed Teal lives in eastern and southern Africa, with some dispersion to Angola’s coasts.

Red-billed Teal usually feeds in pairs or in small groups. They feed by dabbling and dipping the head under the water, and up-ending the body into the water to reach deeper food. At this time, we only can see tail and vent above the surface. It also frequents mudflats, and feeds at night in the fields.  

These ducks gather in large flocks of several thousands birds at preferred sites towards the end of the wet season.
It is a sedentary species in several areas, but it may perform some dispersion and nomadism.

Red-billed Teal performs rapid flight.

Red-billed Teal breeds mainly in the summer months, but season may vary, according to the water level. Usually, breeding starts after the main rain season.
Pair bonds can last for long time, but not always. Male sometimes helps female to guard the chicks.
Nest is on the ground, concealed among the dense waterside vegetation. Nest depression is lined with grass.
Female lays between 5 and 12 eggs, and the incubation lasts about 25 to 28 days. Young fledge two months later.

Red-billed Teal feeds on aquatic plants and invertebrates.

Red-billed Teal is common and widespread in its range.