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A photo of a Ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys), male
Ringed Teal, Male

Ringed Teal

Callonetta leucophrys

The ringed teal (Callonetta leucophrys) is a small duck of South American forests. It is the only species of the genus Callonetta. Usually placed with the dabbling ducks (Anatinae), this species may actually be closer to shelducks and belong in the subfamily Tadorninae; its closest relative is possibly the maned duck. The male and female remain colourful throughout the year, lacking an eclipse plumage. The drake has a rich chestnut back, pale grey flanks and a salmon-coloured breast speckled in black. A black band runs from the top of its head down to the nape. Females have an olive-brownish back with the head blotched and striated in white, with pencilled barring on a pale chest and belly. Both have a dark tail, a contrasting pale rump, and a distinctive white patch on the wing. Bills are grey and legs and feet are pink in both sexes. Pairs easily bond. Their contact calls are a cat-like mee-oowing in ducks, a lingering peewoo in drakes. Most ringed teals average 36–38 cm long, with a 71 cm wingspan. Individuals typically weigh 310–340 g. Ringed teals also have webbed toes with long, pointed claws that specialize in allowing the birds to sit on tree branches. These specialized toes are unique, as most waterfowl cannot easily remain perched on tree branches. Their habitats include tropical, swampy forests and marshy clearings in well-wooded lowlands, as well as secluded pools and small streams. As a predominantly aquatic species, ringed teals eat a variety of aquatic plants and invertebrates, as well as any seeds that can be found. Ringed teals are classified as “dabblers” as opposed to “divers”. Dabblers tend to feed on plant and insect material near the surface of the water, where as divers feed on plants, invertebrates, and fish deeper under the water's surface. Although dabblers may submerge their heads and upper torso while putting their tails up in the air, also known as “up-ending”, they rarely completely submerge themselves and stay under for periods of time, such as the divers do.
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Birda is an excellent platform to share your love of Birding and is a great tool of encouragement for a Birding Beginner like me. Birda has a very kind and supportive community of Birding enthusiasts. For me BIRDA is not only a BIRDING but also a WELLBEING App.
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