Ringed Teal

Callonetta leucophrys

Ringed teals are tiny.

Ringed teals are one of the world’s smallest duck species. Other species of teal tend to be small as well.

These wood ducks would prefer to rest in trees.

Ringed teals are also wood ducks. Wood ducks have claws on their toes and their feet may even have less webbing than other ducks. This allows them to roost in trees and hold on to branches. While they are great swimmers and excellent at sitting in trees, they do have an awkward walk. On land they might seem like they have a limp, but this is their normal gait!

Ringed teals are colorful all year.

Many wood duck males, called drakes, lose their colorful feathers at the end of the breeding season. The plain feather that grow in are called “eclipse plumage”. However, ringed teals do not have eclipse plumage, and both drakes and female ducks, called hens, keep their colorful feathers year-round.

Animal Facts

  • Range Ringed teal live in northwest Argentina and Paraguay as well as Bolivia, Brazil, and Uruguay.
  • Habitat They inhabit tropical, swampy forests and marshy clearings in well-wooded lowlands.
  • Diet They are omnivores and eat a variety of aquatic plants and invertebrates, and will also eat seeds and shoots. At the Zoo they eat grains and green vegetables.
  • Size Ringed teals are 14 inches in length and weigh between 10.9 - 11.9 ounces. Their wingspan is around 28 inches.
  • Location in Zoo Tropical Rainforest
  • Conservation Status Ringed Teals are a Least Concern species.

Did You Know?

Ringed teals make their nests in tree cavities and other holes.