Hottentot teal in exhibit

Blue-billed Teal

Scientific Name

Spatula hottentota








Near swamps, marshes, small lakes, and pools of shallow fresh water

Estimated Wild Population

Hottentot teal in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: LEAST CONCERN IUCN Conservation Status: LEAST CONCERN

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Physical Description

Blue-billed teals are small, inconspicuous, sexually dimorphic ducks. While both sexes have a blue beak and green streaks through their wings, only females have spotted flanks. Blue-billed teals travel in either single pairs or fluid groups. They build large, raised nests with grasses, leaves, and reed stems. Males and females pair during breeding season but usually separate after the female’s incubation period. Chicks are born with a dark brown back, a tan belly, and a gray bill and legs.

Interesting Fact 1

Blue-billed teals feed by dipping their head into the water and pecking at aquatic invertebrates, seeds, fruits, and roots.

Interesting Fact 2

These ducks call with a series of clicks—a harsh “ke-ke-ke” repeated five to seven times at reducing intensity.

Interesting Fact 3

Males make a high-pitched whistling noise, which females counter with a quack.

Animal Care staff working with seal

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