Ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys) female, Swords 29-8-17
[group] Ducks, geese and swans | [order] ANSERIFORMES | [family] Anatidae | [latin] Callonetta leucophrys | [UK] Ringed Teal | [FR] Callonette a collier noir | [DE] Rotschulter-Ente | [ES] Pato de Collar (Arg, Uy, Bo), Pato Acollarado | [NL] Ringtaling
Length: 14-15 inches Weight: 11-12 ounces
The male and female remain colourful throughout the year, lacking an eclipse plumage. The drake has a rich chestnut back, pale grey flanks and a salmon-coloured breast speckled in black. A black band runs from the top of its head down to the nape. Females have an olive-brownish back with the head blotched and striated in white, with pencilled barring on a pale chest and belly. Both have a dark tail, a contrasting pale rump, and a distinctive white patch on the wing. Bills are grey and legs and feet are pink in both sexes. Pairs easily bond. Their contact calls are a cat-like mee-oowing in ducks, a lingering peewoo in drakes.
The Ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys) is a small duck of South American forests. It is the only species of the genus Callonetta. Usually placed with the dabbling ducks (Anatinae), this species may actually be closer to shelducks and belong in the subfamily Tadorninae; its closest relative is possibly the Maned Duck. female The male and female remain colourful throughout the year, lacking an eclipse plumage.
HABITAT AND RANGE: Ringed Teal ducks are found in South America, from southern Bolivia, Paraguay, and southwestern Brazil to northeastern Argentina and Uruguay. Their habitats include tropical, swampy forests and marshy clearings in well-wooded lowlands, as well as secluded pools and small streams. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Roughly translated, the Latin name of the Ringed Teal, Callonetta leucophrys, means “the beautiful duck with the white wing patches.
Ringed teal have strong, pointed claws on their feet and so can readily perch in trees. Length: 14-15 inches Weight: 11-12 ounces Coloration: Ringed Teal, typical of wood ducks, have beautiful iridescent greenish plumage patterns, especially on the wings. They may be distinguished by a white patch in front of the green speculum. The males have a finely speckled, pinkish breast and a buff colored head with a black posterior border, they can dive underwater to escape predators. However, they seldom dive deeper than one meter. While swimming, they hold their tails horizontally so that they do not touch the surface of the water. After dabbling, they flap their wings vigorously a few times to shake out any water that might have entered the wing pockets or other air spaces.
The ringed teal live in South America, from southern Bolivia, Paraguay and southwestern Brazil to northeastern Argentina and Uruguay in wooded habitats. They have strong, pointed claws on their feet so they can readily perch in trees. Their length can be up to 14-15 inches with a 28 inch wingspan and weight of 11-12 ounces. Typical of wood ducks, they have beautiful iridescent greenish plumage patterns, especially on the wings. Their legs are light pink, the slender bill bluish grey and the eyes brown.
Males are pale faced with black crown and hindneck, a white hip patch, gray barred flanks, blue bill, and pink legs. Females are patterned similarly overall with pale underparts barred brown and a brown face marked with pale stripes. Both sexes of Ringed Teal can be easily recognized in flight by a white greater covert patch and green secondaries.
They are found near secluded pools, small streams, swampy tropical forests, ponds, marshy clearings in low woodlands, and often in forested habitats.
The feeding habits of the ringed teal label them as ?puddle ducks?. They are surface feeders as opposed to diving ducks. They feed by dipping their head, neck and front of the body under water with the tail in the air. This behavior is called ?up-ending.? They maintain this position with foot action, grazing on submerged bottom plants. After dabbling, they flap their wings vigorously a few times to shake out any water that might have entered the wing pockets and other air spaces.
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence 30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]
Ringed teals, like other wood ducks form strong pair-bonds, although they are not necessarily life-long. The male exhibits preening as part of his courtship displays, in which he flashes the iridescent wing colors toward the female to attract her attention. The male also swims around the female in a figure- eight pattern while throwing his head back and whistling. Breeding takes place in the water. Almost all ringed teal nests are in holes or other tree cavities. The nest is lined with down and 6-12 eggs are laid. The incubation period is about 29 days. Both the male and female take turns incubating the eggs and caring for the young. Hatching is timed to the weather and food availability, synchronizing with the best conditions. The chicks are precocial, meaning they are well developed when they are hatched. After hatching, the parents leave the nest. The ducklings follow sometimes making the leap from great heights. The chicks obtain oil for waterproofing their feathers by rubbing against their mother's abdominal plumage. They are called from the nest a day or two after hatching. After tumbling out, they follow their mother. They eat on their own, taking aquatic vegetation and insects as demonstrated by the adults. They can fly some 50-55 days after hatching and follow the adults to the winter feeding grounds.
Disperses after breeding, seen nearer coasts and at lower altitudes.