Chestnut Teal

Kastanje eend

Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea)

The Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea) is a dabbling duck from the family of water birds that includes ducks, geese, and swans (Anatidae).

Species name

Dutch name:
Kastanje eend
English name:
Chestnut Teal
German name:
French name:
Sarcelle rousse
Scientific name:
Anas castanea

Scientific classification




The chestnut teal is darker and a slightly bigger bird than the grey teal (Anas gracilis).

Are distinctive, having a glossy green head, chestnut brown neck, breast and flanks, dark brown upper body and wings, and a black undertail with contrasting white patch. 

Are mottled dark brown and grey, with a pale throat streaked brown and a dark eye stripe.

In both sexes the eye is a deep red, the bill is blue-grey and the legs and feet are green-grey. The wings have a dark glossy green to purple speculum (panel) edged white and the underwing is brown, with white wing pits.

Voice: similar to grey teal. The main calls are the female’s high-pitched decrescendo quacking, and male’s whistle-like “burp”.

Similar species: the chestnut teal is similar to three other small duck species that are widespread on mainland New Zealand: Australasian shoveler, grey teal and brown teal. Immatures and females are similar to grey teal, but are darker and lack the pale throat. The male is similar to the shoveler in having a conspicuous white flank patch, but has a green (not blue-grey) head, and dark (not white) underwing. The chestnut teal differs from brown teal in having a red (not black) eye, a prominent white triangle on the upper wing, generally brighter chestnut underparts and a more conspicuously iridescent green head.

Standard Measurements

Body Length (cm):
The male (drake) of the Chestnut Teal measures approximately 35-46 centimeters. The female measures approximately 35-46 centimeters.
Body Weight (grams):
The male will weight about 600-700 gram. The female will weight about 600-700 gram.
The weight is notoriously variable and can only be used as indication!

These ducks are generally good in mixed collections, although the smaller and quieter species may be bullied. Territorial disputes between ducks of the same species may be avoided by keeping only one pair of each species in an enclosure, unless the area is very large. For a single pair of ducks a pen are of 50 to 100 square metres, depending on the size of duck, should be provided.


Chestnut teal (Chestnut-breasted teal) are easy to keep, being quite winter-hardy, easy to manage, feed and breed, generally unaggressive and suitable for mixed collections with other small ducks.

These ducks may lay up to three clutches if eggs removed before incubation starts. May lay from March or April in the northern hemisphere, in ground-level or raised nest boxes, or in ground cover. Occasionally females lay a second clutch before fledging and dispersal of the first brood. Ducklings are easy to rear along with other ducklings. 

Hybridisation reports common, but firmly-paired drakes rarely pursue other females. Hybridisation reported with Anas species, also with Brazilian teal (Amazonetta brasiliensis) and Long-tailed duck (Clangula hyemalis) (ducklings were not reared).

The female Chestnut Teal usually lays from 7-10 light cream eggs and incubates them for 25-28 days.

Bird banding:
Recommended leg band size for the Chestnut Teal is 9 mm.
The leg band can only be applied on a young dabbling duck at around 11-12 days old.

It doesn't matter what leg that you band, but it is good to have a consistent system.
Suggested: Left leg = Female, Right leg = Male
Preferred food:
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Lundi Premium
Lundi Premium
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Lundi Premium

Floating full food for all sea ducks, green ducks, eider ducks and geese, especially in the moulting and breeding phase ideally suited. Packed with wholesome raw materials, natural vitamins and trace elements, this performance food with a protein content of 30% forms the basis for lifelong vitality.

Photos of the Chestnut Teal

Videos of the Chestnut Teal