The red-billed teal (Anas erythrorhyncha) is a dabbling duck which is an abundant resident breeder in southern and eastern Africa typically south of 10° S. This duck is not migratory, but will fly great distances to find suitable waters. It is highly gregarious outside the breeding season and forms large flocks.
The red-billed teal is 43–48 centimetres (17–19 in) long and has a blackish cap and nape, contrasting pale face, and bright red bill. The body plumage is a dull dark brown scalloped with white. Flight reveals that the secondary flight feathers are buff with a black stripe across them. The sexes are similar, but juveniles are duller than adults.
The red-billed teal is a bird of freshwater habitats in fairly open country and is an omnivore. It feeds by dabbling for plant food, or foraging on land mainly in the evening or at night. It nests on the ground in dense vegetation near water.
This is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.
- Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey and Warwick Tarboton, SASOL Birds of Southern Africa (Struik 2002) ISBN 1-86872-721-1
- Madge and Burn, Wildfowl ISBN 0-7470-2201-1