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This is a small species of duck with a black head and nape and buff-colored cheeks and throat. The back is blackish-brown edged with buff, the breast is brown spotted with black, and the belly is mottled buff. These teals have a green wing speculum and a blue bill with a black streak on the top. The legs and feet are gray.
Hens are lighter underneath than males, with mottled flanks.
30-35 cm (12-14 in.)
Approximately 243 g (8.5 oz)
Includes insects, crustaceans, seeds, and vegetation
Approximately 1-2 years
Averages 20-30 years
Found in eastern and southern Africa and Madagascar
Inhabits lakes and pools in open country
Hottentots are the smallest species in the genus
as well as one of the smallest species of all waterfowl.
Teals are not very vocal, but males do emit a high-pitched whistle and the female responds with a nasal quack.
These teals eat by swimming with their bill in the water.
ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION
The population is decreasing in many parts of Africa and in Madagascar mostly due to habitat degradation.
Birds of the World
. New York. Golden Press, Inc., 1961.
Birds - Their Latin Names Explained
. UK. Blandford Books Ltd., 1981.
Ducks, Geese, and Swans of the World
. Lincoln. Univ. Of Neb. Press, 1978.
A Coloured Key of the Wildfowl of the World
. Slimbridge, England. The Wildfowl Trust. 1988.
Natural History of Waterfowl
. San Diego, Ca. Ibis Publishing Co., 1996.