Hottentot Teal

The most striking feature of the Hottentot teal is its blue bill. It is the smallest of the African ducks and one the smallest of all the waterfowl, weighing a mere 8 or 9 ounces. Males and females are very similar in size and color, but the female is much lighter on her underside. Both have blue-gray feet, a black head, a brown spotted breast, and a bit of green on their wings.

Food

The Hottentot teal eats by swimming with its bill in the water. It catches mostly insects and crustaceans this way. It also eats seeds and vegetation.

Habitat

Eastern and Southern Africa and Madagascar are the home of the Hottentot teal. It prefers to live in freshwater marshes, inland waters and flood plains.

Social Structure

Hottentot teals are not migratory birds. They live in pairs or small groups and generally get along with other species, since they are not aggressive birds.

Birth & Offspring

A female will lay between 5 and 9 eggs in a domed nest made from clumps of vegetation with plant leaves. The eggs are incubated for 22-26 days before the small, fragile ducklings are born. They grow quickly and learn to fly after about 5 weeks.

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