Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Notice: The Zoo Will Close at 1 p.m. on Friday, August 2 to Prepare for Brew at the Zoo. Admission will end at noon.

Ringed teal

Callonetta leucophrys

Small distinctive duck with beautiful iridescent green plumage and blue bill. Males have speckled, pinkish breasts and a light tan head that is bordered by a striking black line of plumage. The black line extends down to the base of the neck and then partially around it, forming an incomplete ring. Considered a dabbling duck, meaning it does not submerge in the water, but swims and dips its bill, head, and neck into the water to filter out and forage for food.

Range & Habitat

Range is throughout South American forests and wetlands, predominately occurring within marshes and swamps with abundant vegetation; can be even seen perched on fences or low trees. The species is extant through Uruguay, Argentina, the Plurinational states of Bolivia, Brazil, & Paraguay.

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Population trend is stable, and the number of mature individuals is between 6,700-67,000. The species is suspected to be stable due to no evidence pointing to declining populations or substantial threats.


Omnivore; feeds on a variety of aquatic plants, insects, seeds, small fish, snails 

Life Span

13 years

Fun Facts about the Ringed teal

  • Ringed teals are wood ducks.  They nest in holes or other tree cavities that they have lined with down.   
  • Ringed Teals form strong monogamous bonds, in which both parents help incubate the eggs averaging around 6 to 11 eggs a clutch.  
  • Ducklings are required to leap out of elevated nest up in South American trees in order to follow their parents’ lead.
  • Ringed teals are one of the smallest ducks in the world at a length of 36-38cm


e-Bird, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo: Ringed Teal - Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo

BirdLife International. 2016. Callonetta leucophrys. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: Callonetta leucophrys (Ringed Teal) ( Retrieved on July 23, 2021.

Ringed Teal North Carolina Zoo: Ringed Teal | North Carolina Zoo ( Retrieved July 23, 2021

Updated June 13, 2023
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