Brown teal

Anas chlorotis

The brown teal is a species of dabbling duck of the genus ''Anas''. The Māori name for it is ''pāteke''. For many years it had been considered to be conspecific with the flightless Auckland and Campbell teals in ''Anas aucklandica''; the name "brown teal" has also been largely applied to that entire taxon. Common in the early years of European colonisation, the "brown duck" was heavily harvested as a food source. Its numbers quickly fell, especially in the South Island, & in 1921 they became fully protected. Captive breeding & releasing into predator-controlled areas has seen good localised populations re-introduced around the country in recent years.
Brown teal / Pateke (Anas chlorotis) Tawharanui Reserve, New Zealand. 27 Dec 2016. Anas chlorotis,Brown teal,Geotagged,New Zealand,Summer

Distribution

This species is endangered and occurs predominantly on offshore islands but also in predator-proof sanctuaries on the mainland such as Tawharanui Regional Park. Formerly, it was widespread on the New Zealand mainland, but it disappeared there due to introduced predators like cats, dogs and rats, which easily preyed on this unwary, weakly flying bird. According to the IUCN categorization as VU D1, fewer than 1000 adult birds remain. The species has recently been upgraded to endangered by Birdlife International , and the change will be reflected in the next update of the IUCN red list.

Status

This species is endangered and occurs predominantly on offshore islands but also in predator-proof sanctuaries on the mainland such as Tawharanui Regional Park. Formerly, it was widespread on the New Zealand mainland, but it disappeared there due to introduced predators like cats, dogs and rats, which easily preyed on this unwary, weakly flying bird. According to the IUCN categorization as VU D1, fewer than 1000 adult birds remain. The species has recently been upgraded to endangered by Birdlife International , and the change will be reflected in the next update of the IUCN red list.

Behavior

The brown teal is largely nocturnal in habit by dabbling duck standards. This is an evolutionary response to natural diurnal predators such as the New Zealand falcon, Eyles' harrier, or skuas further south in their range. Brown teal have no defense against introduced cats, dogs, stoats & ferrets, which can kill adults & ducklings, or against rats which eat eggs.

Reproduction

Nest of dry grass near water or under shelter of large ''Carex'', heavily lined with down. A clutch of four to eight creamy-brown eggs is laid. Incubation by the female alone, takes 27–30 days. The male stays in his territory as a guard, aggressive to all other waterfowl.

Food

It feeds by dabbling and upending, like its relatives. Its diet consists mainly of aquatic invertebrates like insects and their larvae, or crustaceans. It appears quite fond of mollusks. Small species such as pipi and large wedge shell are eaten whole and crushed in the gizzard. For feeding on larger cockles such as ''Austrovenus stutchburyi'' , at least some New Zealand teals have developed a peculiar technique, as of now undocumented in other birds, to force their rather soft bills between the cockle shells and tear out the flesh with a jackhammer-like pumping motion. At night brown teal will forage on land some distance from the streams used as a refuge during the day .

References:

Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

Status: Near threatened
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassAves
OrderAnseriformes
FamilyAnatidae
GenusAnas
SpeciesA. chlorotis
Photographed in
New Zealand