Hartlaub's duck Hartlaub's duck
Hartlaub's Duck

Scientific Classification

Common Name
Hartlaub's duck, Hartlaub's teal
Genus Species
Pteronetta (winged duck) hartlaubii (after German ornithologist Hartlaub)

Fast Facts

This is a large duck with a black bill, reddish brown eyes, and dark yellow-brown legs. The head and upper neck are black with variable white on forehead. The neck, breast, and belly are a rich chestnut brown and the tail, rump, and upper wing an olive-brown.
Approximately 56 to 58 cm (22 to 23 in.) long
415 to 430 g (14.5 to 15.05 oz.)
This species generally feeds nocturnally, its diet consisting of aquatic invertebrates (insects, arachnids, crustaceans and mollusks), seeds, and roots.
30 to 32 days
Clutch Size
8 to 11 eggs
Fledging Duration
8 weeks
Sexual Maturity
Approximately 1 to 2 years
Life Span
Averages 20 to 30 years
These birds have an extremely large range and have a widespread distribution in Mali, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Sudan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Angola.
The species is found in forested areas, in particular in secluded marshes and pools within dense, swampy, lowland tropical evergreen forest and gallery forest. It is also found along small rivers and streams in well-wooded savanna areas, and is recorded from salt pans in Congo and Cameroon. It requires areas of open water such as large rivers or lakes on which to molt.
The total population has been estimated to lie between 26,000 and 110,000 individuals. From the limited information available, it would appear to be locally common in Central Africa, being most numerous in Cameroon, Gabon, the Congo and DRC. In West Africa, it has apparently suffered major declines and is now very scarce, with perhaps fewer than 1,000 individuals remaining. The overall population appears to be decreasing but is not severely fragmented.
IUCN: Least Concern
CITES: Appendix III
USFWS: Lower risk/near threatened

Fun Facts

As with other ducks, males are called drakes, females are hens, and young are ducklings.

No nest has ever been found in the wild; however observations from captive populations suggest that nest sites are most likely to be in tree holes and hollow trees or occasionally on the ground among dense cover

Ecology and Conservation

The primary threat to this species is habitat loss due to forest destruction. Other threats include hunting, increases in slash-and-burn cultivation, water pollution from mining, and poison-fishing, and hydrological changes owing to logging.

These ducks are hunted and traded at traditional medicine markets in Nigeria.


Austin, G. Birds of the World. New York. Golden Press, Inc., 1961.

Gotch, A.F. Birds - Their Latin Names Explained. UK. Blandford Books Ltd., 1981.

Johnsgard, P. Ducks, Geese, and Swans of the World. Lincoln. Univ. Of Neb. Press, 1978.

Scott, P. A Coloured Key of the Wildfowl of the World. Slimbridge, England. The Wildfowl Trust. 1988.

Todd, F.S. Natural History of Waterfowl. San Diego, Ca. Ibis Publishing Co., 1996.


BirdLife International. 2016. Pteronetta hartlaubii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22680070A92841893. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22680070A92841893.en. Downloaded on 16 January 2019.

Photo Credit: Hartlaub's_Duck_RWD.jpg. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Image by: Dick Daniels, carolinabirds.org. Year Created: 15 January 2011. Website: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hartlaub%27s_Duck_RWD.jpg. License: CC by SA 3.0.