Bird of the week – Chestnut Teal Anas castanea

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The Chestnut Teal is a small duck. It is commonly seen resting on logs or rocks at the water’s edge. The female’s call is a ‘quack’. The male’s call is a grunt or whistle.

What the Chestnut Teal looks like

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The Chestnut Teal is 35-50 cm in length. The male has a glossy green-black head, a chestnut breast and belly and a dark brown back. The female is covered in feathers that are dark brown edged with light brown. The Chestnut Teal has a blue-grey beak, red eyes and olive-grey legs and feet.

Where the Chestnut Teal lives

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The Chestnut Teal lives in south-western and south-eastern Australia. It also lives in New Guinea. It is found in brackish coastal lagoons and estuaries and in freshwater swamps.

What the Chestnut Teal eats

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The Chestnut Teal eats plants and their seeds, insects, worms and snails. It feeds by dabbling at the water’s edge or water surface, or by putting its head underwater.

How the Chestnut Teal breeds

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Chestnut Teals form pairs that stay together out of the breeding season.

The adults breed from winter to summer. The male whistles and walks around to attract a female. The adults mate.

The female lays seven to ten eggs in a scrape on the ground, in grasses or reeds or in a hole in a tree. She sits on the eggs to keep them warm.

The chicks hatch after four weeks. They leave the nest after one day.

The chicks can swim after one day. Both parents defend them until they can fend for themselves. The chicks grow into adults.

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