Brazilian Teal, Amazonetta brasiliensis
Brazilian teals are primarily found in freshwater wetland habitats across South America, including marshes, lagoons, and slow-moving rivers in the Amazon Basin, the Pantanal, and the savannas of Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay. They prefer areas with shallow water, dense vegetation, and plentiful food resources. They can adapt to both flooded and dry grasslands, as long as there are suitable water sources nearby.
Brazilian teals have distinct plumage that sets them apart from other duck species. They have a bright chestnut head and neck, contrasting with a gray body. The wings exhibit iridescent green and blue patches. Both males and females have a distinctive white crescent-shaped patch on their face, behind the eye.
Brazilian teals are dabbling ducks that primarily feed on plant material. Their diet consists of seeds, aquatic plants, grasses, and small invertebrates, including insects and snails. They forage by tipping their heads underwater or grazing on land, often in the vicinity of water bodies.
They are known for their vocalizations, which include whistles and soft, melodious calls. They also display courtship behaviors such as head-bobbing and wing-flapping.
During the breeding season, Brazilian teals form monogamous pairs. The female selects the nest site, usually in dense vegetation or in hollow tree trunks near water. They may also use abandoned nests of other birds. The nest is a shallow depression lined with plant material and down feathers.
A female Brazilian teal typically lays around 8-10 eggs, with an average of 9 eggs per clutch. The eggs are creamy-white or pale buff in color. The female incubates the eggs for approximately 25-27 days. The male may leave after mating and undergo a molt during this time.
Once the eggs hatch, the female leads the ducklings to the water within a day or two. The ducklings are precocial and can swim and feed themselves shortly after hatching. They primarily feed on small invertebrates, aquatic insects, and plant matter found in the water. The parents provide protection and guidance to the young. The young Brazilian teals fledge at around 35-40 days after hatching. They become independent but may remain in family groups for some time.
They are generally sedentary and do not undertake long-distance migrations. However, they may make local movements in response to changing water levels or food availability.