•RingTeal-Native to South America
•CapeTeal-Native to Africa
•SilverTeal-Native to South America
•Marbled Teal- Native to Southern Europe, North Africa and Middle-East
•HottentotTeal-Eastern and Southern Africa
There are tons of different teal species out there all equally beautiful in their own rights and come from about every continent in the world. They also boast the smallest species of waterfowl in the world, the Hottentot ,it will fit in the palm of a mans hand, oh about 5 inches long or so when standing.
Most all teal are ground nesters, some will go both ways though. Ring, Sharpwinged, Marbled, Chestnut Breasted, and Baikal are the only species that I have heard that will use raised wood duck style boxes.
The Green-winged teal is the smallest of the North American dabbling species with some weighing as little as 11 ounces. They can easily fit through two inch openings. This species is fairly easy to maintain and breed in a captive setting and is relatively compatible with other waterfowl species in a mixed collection. Care should be taken to make sure larger species do not bully this small teal. Green-wing are ground nesters, some may accept boxes, however natural cover is usually preferred. They can and often do breed their first year. The breeding season is in Spring and in our region, starts in April. Clutches consist of 6 to 8 eggs and are incubated for about 24 days. The ducklings of this species present no special challenges to rear.
The Ringed Teal is another excellent duck for the beginner. Native to South America, the Ringed Teal prefers warm weather, but can adapt fairly well to cooler climates. In extreme cold, frostbite can be a problem, especially with pinioned birds. Full-winged birds with some shelter hardly ever have this problem. Unlike most waterfowl, the drake has no eclipse plumage, thus he remains colorful year round. These birds can and often do breed their first Spring. They enjoy a long breeding season, with eggs being produced in my region as early as March and as late as July. They require a raised Wood Duck style box for nesting. If kept in a mixed collection, care should be taken that there are plenty of nest boxes in the enclosure, as larger birds may drive the smaller teal from her nest. Clutches consist of 6-8 eggs and are incubated for about 24 days. If the eggs are removed early in incubation the hen will often lay a second clutch. The hens normally make excellent broodies and are sometimes used as surrogate mothers for the eggs of other more difficult species. The young are grayish blue in color and are easy to raise. There is only one color mutation of the Ringed Teal that we are aware of, which is the blonde Ringed Teal pictured below.
The Cape Teal is another common aviary bird that is relatively easy to keep and breed. They are native to Africa and would prefer warm climates, but many are kept in northern collections with minimal trouble. They are not aggressive and get along well with other species making them suitable for mixed collections. The male and female look similar, with the drakes being larger and having a slightly brighter colored bill. Like most tropical ducks the male does not undergo and eclipse period and keeps his breeding colors year round. Cape Teal enjoy a long breeding season, eggs can be collected as early as January and as late as July. Birds are first year fertile but most do not lay until their second Spring. Nests are made on the ground in thick vegetation or in a nesting box. Clutches consist of 6-10 eggs and are incubated for about 25 days. The ducklings present no special challenges and are easy to raise.
The Silver Teal or Versircolor Teal is native to South America. The male and female of this species look similar and keep the same color year round. Silver Teal closely resembles Puna Teal, who are duller in color. These birds get along well with other species and can do well in a mixed collection. They are generally hardy, but will need some protection from winter temperatures in cold climates. Capable of breeding their first Spring, most pairs do not breed until they are two years of age. Silver Teal are ground nesters, and prefer to nest in natural cover, some may accept next boxes. Clutches consist of 6-10 eggs and are incubated for about 25 days. The ducklings of this species are easy to raise.
Marble Teal are native to southern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle-East. Males and females look similar, with the males having larger crest and darker eye stripe. Once thought to belong to the dabbling duck group, they have since been reclassified as pochards, due to their display behavoir and lack of a speculum. Marble Teal are hardy and easy to care for, they also are not aggressive and can get along well in a mixed collection. Breeding season is in spring. The males courtship displays are interesting, and entertaining to watch. Nests are made on the ground under natural cover, or in a nesting box. Clutches consist of 8-10 eggs, which will be incubated for approximately 25 days. The young are not difficult to raise and are fully feathered in about 30 days.
It is the smallest of the African ducks and one the smallest of all the waterfowl, weighing a mere 8 or 9 ounces. Males and females are very similar in size and color, but the female is much lighter on her underside. Both have blue-gray feet, a black head, a brown spotted breast, and a bit of green on their wings.
Eastern and Southern Africa and Madagascar are the home of the Hottentot teal. It prefers to live in freshwater marshes, inland waters and flood plains.
Hottentot teals are not migratory birds. They live in pairs or small groups and generally get along with other species, since they are not aggressive birds.
A female will lay between 5 and 9 eggs in a domed nest made from clumps of vegetation with plant leaves. The eggs are incubated for 22-26 days before the small, fragile ducklings are born. They grow quickly and learn to fly after about 5 weeks.
Sharp Wing teal are small brownish "female-plumaged" ducks with speckles. Their bills are blue-gray, with the darker color above the lighter. The head and neck are light grayish-buff finely speckled with black. They are otherwise dark brown above with paler edgings, wing speculum green bordered buff-white behind. Their under parts are buffy-white, usually conspicuous spotted brown on foreneck and breast. A typical call of the male is a mellow "preep," but in display utters prolonged mellow rippling series of notes. Female vocalization is a gruff "quack" or cackle.
Nest sites vary considerably, from holes in trees, banks and slopes to on the ground among vegetation, usually not far from water. Double brooding can occur in a prolonged season and males often assist females in tending young broods. During spring-summer of first year September to February They have been known to except nesting boxes as well. The average clutch is 5 to 8 buff colored eggs.