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Brown Teal

brown teal

Anas chlorotis


Hightest populations are found on Great Barrier and Little Barrier Islands


They prefer heavily vegetated wetlands with still or slow-flowing open water


Insects, worms, snails, shoots, roots and seeds


July to December. However in certain circumstances, that is if the conditions are suitable, brown teal have been known to breed in ever month of the year; a truely unique phenomenon


Bowl-shaped, lined with down, usually in vegetation close to the water's edge


Five to six creamy brown eggs incubated for 27-30 days. The male acts as an aggresive guard


Fledge at 55 days


Introduced mammals, harriers and pukekp; eels may eat the ducklings

Conservation status:



This small slow-flying duck is also known as the pateke. Distinguishing features include its small size and general brown colouration with lighter chest.

Once recorded as being in all major swamplands, sadly wetland drainage, forest clearance and the introduction of predators have caused their decline. Two distinct flightless subspecies are found on Auckland and Campbell Islands. There are currently fewer than 2000 brown teal living in the wild in mainland New Zealand, making it our rarest waterfowl species.

Click here to go to the dedicated brown teal conservation website.

The brown teal’s omnivorous diet, restricted annual range and mainly terrestrial lifestyle give it a unique ecological niche among waterfowl.