Madagascar Teal

Madagascar taling

Madagascar Teal (Anas bernieri)

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

Species name

Dutch name:
Madagascar taling
English name:
Madagascar (Berniers) Teal
German name:
French name:
Sarcelle de Madagascar (Bernier)
Scientific name:
Anas bernieri

Scientific classification




Both sexes rather pale, warm grayish-brown all over, scalloped darker most conspicuously on flanks and breast, wing with black speculum. Head rather uniform, pale, pinkish-grey bill, slightly upturned. Told from all other ducks by lack of conspicuous head-pattern, bill color, rather long neck, wide white borders to distinctive black speculum.

Same as male But has more brownish red on feet bill and legs.

Looks as dull Female.


Found in pairs and small groups of pairs; pairs defend feeding spaces.

Standard Measurements

Body Length (cm):
The male (drake) of the Madagascar Teal measures approximately 40-45 centimeters. The female measures approximately 40-45 centimeters.
Body Weight (grams):
The male will weight about 340-410 gram. The female will weight about 340-410 gram.
The weight is notoriously variable and can only be used as indication!

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.

Bernier's duck (Madagascar teal) have been maintained fully winged in aviaries, with heated indoor accommodation and a large concrete pond modified to allow foraging at different depths. The aviary was well planted, with high perches available which were used extensively in the daytime. In a larger aviary the ducks developed territories. They mixed well with Mixed with African white-backed duck (Thalassornis leuconotus leuconotus) and African pygmy goose (Nettapus auritus). Fine-chopped and occasionally whole green vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage and kale were provided.

In captivity, the species will also use nest boxes. The birds add no materials to the nest. Instead, the female lays her eggs directly on floor of the cavity, covering them initially with wood shavings or rotting bits of wood and later with down feathers from her own breast. Only the female incubates the eggs.

The female Madagascar Teal usually lays from 3-9 pale buff eggs and incubates them for 26-29 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 26-29 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 Madagascar Teal is 8 mm.
The leg band ring can only be applied on a young dabbling duck at around 10-11 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
Lundi Micro Regular
Lundi Micro Regular
Lundi Micro Regular

Floatable special rearing feed for all types of aquatic ornamental fowl - especially for the cultivation of trees as well as greening ducks.

This well-balanced complete feed with 20% protein content convinces above all by its good compatibility and forms the basis for visibly healthy growth from day one.

Made exclusively from wholesome and selected raw materials, Lundi Micro Regular is also ideally suited for the year-round feeding of waterfowl.

Maintenance food:
Lundi Regular
Lundi Regular
Lundi Regular
Lundi Regular
Lundi Regular

Lundi Regular with a protein content of 20%, valuable Spirulina and high-quality by-products is optimally balanced in its composition maintenance food for water ornamental fowl of all kinds. Especially green teal and Whistling ducks that are not dependent on a very high protein content, are well supplied.

Lundi Regular contains all the minerals and vitamins in full form that are important for the animals. Therefore also suitable as breeding food.

CITES appendix II/ EU bijlage B

The legislation for Appendix B birds is as follows: 
- You must always be able to prove the legal origin 
- You must also keep records, unless these birds have a seamlessly closed leg ring. 

The European Commission published a guideline on demonstrating legal origin in 2019, see below on this page. Legal origin means that both the animal and the breeding stock are legally obtained. In practice, however, you will not always have to prove this, since many birds bred in the Netherlands are fitted with a seamlessly closed leg ring. The origin of this ring can often be used to determine the origin. However, if it is a special species or a species that does not occur frequently in the culture, it may be that additional information about the origin is requested.

Even if there are doubts about the origin, for example, additional information may be requested, so it is important that you can always prove the origin! 

It is becoming increasingly important to provide your animals with a legally recognized foot ring with the correct diameter, birth year, and breeder number.

PDF file Richtsnoeren: Bewijs van legale verwerving voor levende dieren van in bijlage B genoemde diersoorten en vereiste bewijsstukken
PDF file Guidance document: Proof of legal acquisition for live animals of Annex B species and necessary documentary evidence
PDF file Leitfaden: Nachweis für den legalen Erwerb lebender Tiere von in Anhang B aufgelisteten Arten und erforderliche Dokumente
PDF file Document d’orientation: Preuve de l’acquisition légale d’animaux vivants appartenant aux espèces inscrites à l’annexe B et documents justificatifs requis

Photos of the Madagascar Teal