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Hottentot Teal

From Opus

Photo © by leon Marievale, near Johannesburg, South Africa, 27 Apr 2004
Photo © by leon
Marievale, near Johannesburg, South Africa, 27 Apr 2004
Spatula hottentota


[edit] Identification

Length 30–36 cm (12-14 in), mass 186-305 g.

Adults in flightPhoto © by Mohamed IsmaelKhartoum, Sudan, 15 October 2015
Adults in flight
Photo © by Mohamed Ismael
Khartoum, Sudan, 15 October 2015
  • Black and white underwings.
  • Bluish-grey feet

Sexes similar, but the female has paler underparts and lacks green speculum. Juvenile is duller than adult.

[edit] Similar Species

Red-billed Duck is similar but much larger and has a red (not blue) bill and lacks the dark smudge on its cheeks.

[edit] Distribution

Eastern and Southern Africa, northern Nigeria and Southern Niger east to Lake Chad area; Ethiopia south to Namibia and Western Cape Province, South Africa; Madagascar.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1].
Formerly placed in the genus Anas.

[edit] Habitat

Well-vegetated ponds and lakes, freshwater marshes, inland waters and flood plains.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Aquatic invertebrates (crustaceans, molluscs, insects and larvae, especially Coleoptera and Diptera), seeds, fruits, roots and vegetation.

[edit] Breeding

Season variable, mainly according to water levels: all months in South Africa (peaking Jan–Apr, wet season), Apr–May and Aug. A nest is built in over water in a dense clump of emergent vegetation (usually bulrushes, reeds or sedges); 6-8 cream eggs are laid and incubated for 25-27 days by the female.

[edit] Vocalisation

Male in courtship gives soft quacks. Clicking notes given by both sexes, e.g. a harsh “ke-ke-ke”, repeated up to 5–7 times with reduced intensity.

[edit] Movements

Mostly sedentary, but subject to seasonal movements of dispersal related with availability of water.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Hottentot Teal (Spatula hottentota). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 5 July 2018).
  3. Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533
  4. Sinclair, I., Hockey, P.A.R., and Arlott, N. (2005). The Larger Illustrated Guide to Birds of Southern Africa. Struik, Cape Town. ISBN 978-1775840992
  5. The Website of Everything

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