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.
The male and female remain colourful throughout the year, lacking an eclipse plumage.
The drake (male) has a rich chestnut back, pale grey flanks and a salmon-colored 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.
Distribution / Breeding
The Ringed Teal breeds in north-west Argentina and Paraguay, also occurring in Bolivia, Brazil and Uruguay.
Their habitats include tropical, swampy forests and marshy clearings in well-wooded lowlands, as well as secluded pools and small streams.
Calls / Vocalizations
Contact calls: she has a cat like `mee-oowing` and he a lingering `peewoo`.
- BirdLife International (2004). Callonetta leucophrys. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
- Johnson, Kevin P; Sorenson, Michael D (1999): "Phylogeny and biogeography of dabbling ducks (genus Anas): a comparison of molecular and morphological evidence." (PDF) Auk 116(3): 792–805.
Diet / Feeding:
Ducks generally feed on larvae and pupae usually found under rocks, aquatic animals, plant material, seeds, small fish, snails and crabs.
Feeding Ducks ...
We all enjoy ducks and many of us offer them food to encourage them to come over and stay around - and it works! Who doesn't like an easy meal!
However, the foods that we traditionally feed them at local ponds are utterly unsuitable for them and are likely to cause health problems down the road. Also, there may be local laws against feeding this species of bird - so it's best to check on that rather than facing consequences at a later stage.
Please note that feeding ducks and geese makes them dependent on humans for food, which can result in starvation and possibly death when those feedings stop. If you decide to feed them, please limit the quantity to make sure that they maintain their natural ability to forage for food themselves - providing, of course, that natural food sources are available.
- Click here to find out which foods to feed them that will offer the nutrition they need to survive a cold winter and remain healthy
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