Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea)
- Dutch name:
- Kastanje eend
- English name:
- Chestnut Teal
- German name:
- French name:
- Sarcelle rousse
- Scientific name:
- Anas castanea
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.
- 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.
Dabbling Ducks are generally hardy, easy to maintain and easy to breed. Shelter may be required by some of the smaller species in winter. They should be provided with cover (including marginal pond cover) and loafing areas as well as water. A pen which is 50% water is suggested. The water may be shallow (i.e. no more than two feet deep is required), and muddy areas for dabbling in are also appreciated. 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.
A diet based on wheat and pellets is suggested, with maintenance pellets changed to breeders pellets for the breeding season. Bread and greenfood are also appreciated. Grit should always be available, with soluble grit (e.g. oystershell grit) as a calcium source when breeding.
Most species are ground nesters and both close ground cover and ground level nest boxes should be provided. Hand-rearing is generally preferred, as these ducks are generally poor parents in captive conditions, particularly in enclosures shared with other waterfowl. These ducks are prone to hybridization, particularly with closely related species, which should be kept apart from one another.
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 creamy white eggs and incubates them for 25-28 days.
- Artificial incubating:
The ideal relative humidity for incubating most waterfowl eggs is 55% (ground nesters) and 40% (cavity nesters). The temperature is usually 37.4°C. Set ventilation as recommended by the incubator manufacturer. Eggs must be turned, either automatically or by hand, a minimum of 4 times a day. As the duckling develops there is a loss of water from the egg and the air sac gets bigger. In normal development of an egg with a 25-28 days incubation, the air sac occupies about a third of it three days earlier. Cleanliness is vital and ideally eggs should be moved to a separate hatcher at this point, where the humidity should be increased to 65% and even higher once they have pipped internally.
- Bird banding:
- Recommended closed leg band ring size for the Chestnut Teal is 9 mm.The leg band ring 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's good to have a consistent system. Suggested: Left leg = Female, Right leg = Male
- Maintenance food:
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.