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A photo of a Cape Teal (Anas capensis)
Cape Teal

Cape Teal

Anas capensis

The Cape teal, or Anas capensis, is a modestly sized dabbling duck, measuring between 44 to 46 centimeters in length. Exhibiting a predominantly pale grey plumage, the bird is accented with a somewhat browner back. A distinctive feature is the pink hue on its bill, although this is absent in the younger birds. Both sexes present a similar appearance, which is a common trait among ducks of the southern hemisphere.

Identification Tips

When observing the Cape teal, one should note its very pale grey coloration, contrasted with a darker back. The pink on the bill is a helpful identifier, though it is not present in juveniles. This species stands out in its range, as it cannot be mistaken for any other duck.


The Cape teal is typically found in open wetlands across sub-Saharan Africa, where it thrives in the abundant aquatic environments.


This species is indigenous to sub-Saharan Africa and is known for being non-migratory. However, it does exhibit opportunistic movements in response to rainfall patterns.


The Cape teal is generally a quiet bird, with the exception of the breeding season when males engage in more vocal mating displays. It is not commonly seen in large groups, except during moulting periods when flocks can number up to 2000 individuals.

Song & Calls

The male Cape teal emits a clear whistle during the breeding season, while the female produces a more subdued "quack."


Nesting occurs on the ground, well-concealed by vegetation and in close proximity to water sources.

Diet and Feeding

A dabbler by nature, the Cape teal feeds on a diet consisting of aquatic plants, invertebrates, crustaceans, and amphibians.

Conservation status

The Cape teal is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN, and it is one of the species protected under the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA).

Cape Teal Sounds

Recorded by: © 
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Cape Teals on Birda


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