Grey Teal Duck – Profile | Traits | Facts | Call | Diet | Breeding

Grey teal

Grey Teal, scientific name Anas gracilis is a dabbling duck present in open wetlands in Australia and New Zealand. Grey Teal may be recognized as a result of the presence of a crimson-colored iris in its eyes.

Grey Teal Profile

The eggs of Grey Teal are a creamy white color and usually are not distinctly speckled. An average egg is 49.3 mm in size and 35.6 mm in width. Grey Teal nests close to its favored freshwater lakes and marshes, often on the ground, but additionally in tree holes or rabbit burrows.

This is a vocal duck, particularly at night. The male offers a soft preep, and the feminine has a loud quack.

Grey Teal is a gregarious species. In Australia it’s nomadic, quickly colonizing appropriate habitat following rain. In 1957, massive numbers fled Australia, shifting to New Zealand to flee drought.

It was previously thought about a subspecies of the Sunda teal, as Anas gibberifrons gracilis.

Widespread all through its massive range, Grey Teal is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.


Grey Teal may be discovered as a breeding species within the following locations throughout the globe; Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and Indonesia. However, it will also be seen within the Solomons and New Caledonia the place it’s vagrant.

Grey Teal duck Habitat

Grey Teal duck prefers to live in habitats of shallow water areas together with lagoons, swamps, and shallow freshwater lakes. Preference for shallower waters implies that it’s simpler for ducklings to have the ability to swim and eat.

Therefore aiding the rearing and survival of juvenile Grey Teal. Grey Teal additionally prefers areas that have a sizeable marginal cover (that means enough plant and vegetation growth around the margins), due to this fact usually are not typically seen in open areas.

Although Grey Teal tends to decide on freshwater sites through the breeding season it’s also recognized to be seen in coastal/salt waters sometimes in addition to barely brackish waters.

In phrases of elevation, Grey Teal doesn’t are likely to populate in areas above 900m above sea level, as a substitute prefers areas that might be below 300m above sea level.

When nesting Grey Teal selects to create its nests amongst vegetation on the ground level, this vegetation could embody reeds and tall grasses. As nicely as this, it typically elevates nests above ground in tree hallows.

Grey Teal, scientific name Anas gracilis

Grey Teal Description

This crimson color is comparatively more outstanding in adult males. It is a mottled brown duck with white and green flashes on its wings.

The female and male Grey Teal share the same coloration, in distinction to the associated Chestnut Teal, whose female and male are strikingly totally different.

Grey Teal has virtually similar coloration to the feminine chestnut teal and the gray can solely be distinguished by its lighter-colored neck and paler face. Juveniles are paler than adults, particularly on the head.

However, they are often recognized by a boring brown eye till they mature. The bill of Grey teal is a blue-grey color with a darkish lining around the perimeters. Feet are an analogous color to that of the bill being gray.

The head of a Grey Teal may be described as plain/barely streaked, with a darkish crown and cream-colored chin/throat and cheeks.

Grey Teal Migration

For migratory birds residing in stable temperate areas, day size and temperature deliver migration by triggering hormonal modifications.

However, for birds residing in a stochastic environment the place assets are sometimes temporary (e.g. Grey teal Anas gracilis) hormonal control is much less more likely to permit good exploitation of assets, therefore, permitting the survival of the species.

In this sort of environment, birds have to have the ability to detect resourceful areas and relocate, which means they should move all year round and would not have a migration season.

Grey Teal Diet

Grey Teal has a diet principally consisting of invertebrates from their habitat; these embody; larva of midges, water beetles, mosquitoes, and caddisflies.

As nicely as seeds from aquatic vegetation, present of their habitat. Diet modifications in line with the locality and time of the year.

Thus, in Australia Grey Teal feeds totally on plant materials and particularly seeds. It constitutes 87-97% of their diet. Although bugs are eaten all through the year, their half within the diet will increase in spring.

Similarly, molluscs and crustaceans are vital within the diet solely throughout spring and autumn. In Australia, the youngest ducklings feed solely on bugs however the relative quantity decreases to solely 30% when they’re 4 weeks old.

Grey Teal Foraging behaviour

Grey Teal will repeatedly retrieve their meals via the process of both dredging out estuary mudflats or uncovered margins of lakeside to filter out meals.

Dabbling and upending in shallow water areas is one other approach used for food retrieval, to gather invertebrates from simply below the water floor.

To receive seeds, Grey Teal will strip them from the aquatic vegetation. During breeding season Grey Teal will feed strictly in breeding pairs or family events; nonetheless, as soon as the breeding season is over they have an inclination to feed as a flock.

In phrases of ducklings, they need to forage for their very own meals as there isn’t any feeding from parents that happens. Grey teal will feed each morning and nighttime.

Grey Teal, scientific name Anas gracilis

Grey Teal Moulting

Adult Grey teal, Anas gracilis, undergoes a flightless moult that’s not mounted within the year. Before breeding season mature birds, each female, and male, will bear a body moult that excludes the wings.

Then after breeding season, each companion will bear an entire body moult (together with wings). In Australia, the moult of this species is correlated with local weather situations.

Indeed throughout extended moist season birds postpone wing moult in an effort to prolong the breeding one – in all probability in an effort to higher exploit wetlands assets.

This postponement might be defined by the truth that geese attempt to not moult and breed at the same time. For some species of birds, it’s even not possible to do each concurrently.

Grey Teal Brooding

Female Grey Teals will brood younger by themselves, nonetheless, when necessary (e.g. demise of feminine) the male will take over the brooding position and lift the ducklings.

Male will even typically be present on the later levels of brooding as the feminine will return to incubate/lay her next clutch.

After hatching, parents and broods could stay shut to one another for various weeks, as soon as the younger features flight it then turns into unbiased. However, siblings will typically stick collectively for a short period of time as soon as they’ve left home.

Grey Teal Voice

The call of Grey Teal may be heard as a “cuck, cuck, cuck” that’s comparatively fast and features a sharp whistle. The female and male call of Grey Teal are totally different when it comes to quantity and sort.

The male’s call tends to be more of a whistle, whereas the feminine’s call could be very loud and harsh sounding. For short-distance communication, the birds have a softer variation of their calls.

Something attention-grabbing to notice about Grey Teal’s voice is that it is rather comparable if not similar to the voice of a Chestnut Teal.

Grey Teal, scientific name Anas gracilis


Fledging often happens between 35 and 40 days. Before that ducklings are grey-brown with off-white cheeks and underpart.

For juveniles, each feminine and male Grey Teal change into reproductively mature at one year old. Therefore the forming of a pair-bonding will generally happen within the first winter.

Grey Teal Reproduction

When establishing a pair-bond male Grey Teal will carry out a collection of shows, a few of these embody headshakes and head rolls.

These shows are likely to happen in adolescent birds before breeding season, whereas for mature birds in established pair-bonds courtship rituals are used.

This is as a result of Grey Teal pair-bonds are long time period and monogamous. This meaning Grey teal retains the same mate via seasons.

Couples keep collectively all year however when the late summer season molt comes they typically are a part of massive flocks and stick with them till July.

Moreover, “after breeding, they often gather at estuaries to feed on exposed mudflats”.

On average, Grey teal begins breeding at one-year-old. In Australia, there isn’t any reproductive season as breeding is linked to rainfall and meal abundance.

The species needed to adapt and breed in shallow temporary water. However, in New Zealand the place the local weather is more humid, breeding is more seasonal even whether it is nonetheless associated with the water level.

Grey Teal, scientific name Anas gracilis

In phrases of seasonality, Grey Teal will are likely to breed within the summer-rainfall interval. However, they will even breed at any time after a big quantity of rainfall.

Thus, in New Zealand laying happens between June and September “but replacement clutches can be laid through to January”. Therefore, their breeding time typically reveals seldom seasonal patterns.

Grey Teal Nesting

Nesting is often solitary for Grey Teal; nonetheless, typically nesting sites shall be shut collectively, which means breeding pairs could also be shut to 1 and different.

Nests are sometimes present in tree hallows or hidden amongst vegetation on the ground. Grey Teal is just not recognized to assemble nests aside from utilizing materials discovered from its nesting site: grass and down.

The feminine birds will create a bowl within the ground that they’ll proceed to fill with litter discovered from around the site in addition to encompass the nest/bowl with down (feather plumage).

Between 1-7 eggs shall be laid in a nest at a time. The nesting time happens between the months of June-Feb in South Australia and barely later within the area of northern Australia as a result of a slight distinction in temperature.

Whereas in New Zealand Grey Teal tends to nest between the months of September–November.

Grey Teal, scientific name Anas gracilis

Grey Teal Egg Laying

During the incubation interval, the male Grey Teal will stand guard and shield the feminine and eggs whereas she incubates them for 25–31 days.

The clutch (group of eggs) size of Grey Teal fluctuates with an average clutch size being between 6-14 eggs.

The laying of every egg is finished in roughly 24-hours intervals with laying occurring early within the morning. If a pair losses a brood (quantity of chicks hatched at the same time) they’ll then start to put once more solely after a number of weeks of this loss.

Therefore, some pairs could lay a number of clutches per season. However, on average gray teal will lay roughly two broods per season.


Grey teal, Anas gracilis, is totally protected in New Zealand. The population was estimated at 20,000 birds in 1976 and has elevated to 50,000 in 2005. In 2014 there could be about 120,000 Grey teal in New Zealand and over 1 million on this planet.

Considering that now Grey Teal is a common bird within the island, the government thought about including the duck in the game bird record when the Wildlife Act was reviewed in 2010.

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