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A photo of a Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea), male
Chestnut Teal, Male

Chestnut Teal

Anas castanea

The Chestnut Teal, Anas castanea, presents a charming display of sexual dimorphism. The male boasts a resplendent green head, setting him apart from his surroundings, while his body is adorned with a mottled brown plumage. The female, on the other hand, is cloaked in a more subdued attire, with a brown head and mottled body, making her nearly indistinguishable from the Grey Teal.

Identification Tips

To distinguish the Chestnut Teal, one should note the male's vibrant green head and the female's loud, distinctive "laughing" quack, which she repeats rapidly in excess of nine times. This species is slightly larger and darker than the Grey Teal, aiding in its identification.

Habitat

The Chestnut Teal has a preference for coastal estuaries and wetlands, showing a remarkable indifference to the salinity of these environments.

Distribution

This species is predominantly found in the southeastern and southwestern regions of Australia, with Tasmania and southern Victoria serving as its strongholds. However, it is not unheard of for these birds to appear as vagrants in locations as far-flung as New Guinea, Lord Howe Island, and even New Zealand.

Behaviour

The Chestnut Teal is an omnivorous bird, dabbling in a variety of food sources. It forms monogamous pairs that remain together beyond the breeding season, jointly defending their nesting site and caring for their offspring.

Breeding

Nests are typically situated over water, within tree hollows lined with down, approximately 6 to 10 meters above the ground. On occasion, nests may be found on the ground, nestled among grass clumps near water bodies. The ducklings are precocial, ready to swim and walk within a day of hatching.

Conservation status

The Chestnut Teal is currently classified as Least Concern under the IUCN Red List, indicating a stable population within its natural habitat. It is also protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

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