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Speckled Teal
Anas flavirostris

Speckled Teal
Pato Barcino
Anas flavirostris
Length: 400mm. Sexes alike. Bill yellow with nail and culmen black; iris dark brown; head and neck light brown finely speckled with black; ocular and postocular inconspicuous black band; occipital feathers and feathers on upper part of hind neck are long, forming a small crest and making head look larger; anterior part of breast whitish buff; lower part of breast whitish silver and entirely speckled with blackish oval spots; abdomen whitish grey slightly brownish and spotted brown; flanks and sides of abdomen light brownish grey; undertail coverts brownish grey with brown mottling on edges and apex. Upper back cinnamon brown with blackish brown speckles; scapulars blackish brown with cinnamon brown margin; lower back brownish grey with blackish brown mottling; rump, uppertail coverts and tail light brownish grey. Median and lesser wing coverts greyish brown; greater wing coverts greyish brown at base and rusty cinnamon on outer half; secondaries blackish brown with trailing edge cinnamon buff; innermost secondaries up to three feathers glossed with metallic green forming the speculum; primaries dark brown; lesser underwing coverts dark greyish brown; greater underwing coverts and axillaries white. Legs olive plumbeous-grey. Females resemble males but are smaller, with more brownish and paler coloration; head is smaller as it lacks the long occipital feathers, wing speculum lacks the glossy green or shows it only on innermost or proximal secondary. Juveniles resemble adults but with duller coloration overall. Habitat and behaviour: very common and tame, this species is found in pairs or small groups. It frequents all types of water bodies such as marshes, ponds, streams, rivers, lakes and marine shores; almost always found in mixed flocks along with the Yellow-billed Pintail (Anas georgica), the Chiloe Wigeon (Anas sibilatrix), the Silver Teal (Anas versicolor) and others. Of semiarboreal habits, it is commonly spotted perching on posts and logs emerging from water; nest sites vary, from burrows or caves in banks and slopes to holes or forks in large trees, sometimes far from water and high above the ground. Nests are no different from those built by the other anatids and, like these, it uses large quantities of its own down; clutch size: 8-10 cream eggs. Chicks, soon after hatching, plunge into the air from nests high above and parents wait at the bottom to escort them to the water. This species feeds on plants and seeds, completing its diet with insects and their larvae. The Speckled Teal is the smallest of all the members of this family found in Patagonia.
Range: from Neuquén and Río Negro to Tierra del Fuego, Islas Malvinas anad South Georgia Islands; further north it is found in Catamarca, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos and Buenos Aires. In all those areas the predominant race is Anas flavirostris flavirostris as well as in Chile, form Cape Horn to Talca. In winter it migrates to Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. The other race, Anas flavirostris oxyptera, occurs in ponds in the Andean region from Jujuy to La Rioja, as well as in northern Chile, Bolivia and Perú.
Illustrated Handbook of the Birds of Patagonia
Kindless: Kovacs Family

Photographs: Mariano Diez Peña

Birding Patagonia • Birdwatcing in Bariloche, Patagonia, Argentina and Chile.
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Photographs on the website: Mariano Diez Peña