Hottentot Teal

The Hottentot Teal (Spatula hottentota) is a bird in the Spatula genus of dabbling ducks. 

The Hottentot Teal male is dark-brown with a paler face, throat, chest, and side. It has a blackish mark near its ear. The back of its neck is spotted with black. It has an iridescent green speculum. It has brown eyes. Its beak, legs and webbed feet are bluish-grey. The female is brown and not as colourful as the male. 

Hottentot Teal

It grows to about 33 centimetres (13 inches) long. 

It prefers wetlands, especially small, shallow bodies of water. 

The Hottentot Teal is native to most countries in Africa, such as Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, and Madagascar. It is migratory, except in countries in west Africa and Madagascar, where it is residential.

It is omnivorous, eating a varied diet. It does not dive for food. Instead, it forages at muddy edges of the water and also on land. It eats seeds and aquatic animals, such as crabs, snails, and water insects.

The Hottentot Teal is seen in pairs or small groups. It builds a nest in tree stumps using vegetation. The female lays 6-8 eggs, which hatch after 25-27 days. The female looks after the chicks. 

Hottentot Teal

[Location of photographs: Berlin, Germany]

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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