The Silver Teal (Anas versicolor) is a species of dabbling duck in the genus Anas.
Distribution / Range
It breeds in South America. It lives on fresh water in small groups, and feeds primarily on vegetable matter such as seeds and aquatic plants.
The Silver Teal's range includes southern Bolivia, southern Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands, and the Falkland Islands. The southernmost birds migrate to southern Brazil in the winter.
They have a black cap that extends below the eyes, and a bluish bill with a yellow tip. They also have a green speculum (wing anatomy) with a white border.
Nesting / Breeding
They hide their nests in dense vegetation near the shore and lay 5 to 10 eggs between October and December. By February, the majority of chicks have fledged.
The Puna Teal was previously regarded as a subspecies of this bird. Currently, there are two subspecies:
- A. versicolor versicolor Northern Silver Teal located in Paraguay, southern Bolivia, and southern Brazil.
- A. versicolor fretensis Southern Silver Teal located in southern Chile, Argentina, and the Falkland Islands.
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Diet / Feeding:
Ducks generally feed on larvae and pupae often found under rocks, as well as aquatic animals, plant material, seeds, small fish, snails and crabs.
Feeding Ducks ...
We all enjoy ducks and many of us offer them food to encourage them to come over and stay around - and it works! Who doesn't like an easy meal!
However, the foods that we traditionally feed them at local ponds are utterly unsuitable for them and are likely to cause health problems down the road. Also, there may be local laws against feeding this species of bird - so it's best to check on that rather than facing consequences at a later stage.
- Foods that can be fed to Ducks, Geese and Swans to survive cold winters and remain healthy when food is scarce in their environment.
Please note that feeding ducks and geese makes them dependent on humans for food, which can result in starvation and possibly death when those feedings stop. If you decide to feed them, please limit the quantity to make sure that they maintain their natural ability to forage for food themselves - providing, of course, that natural food sources are available.
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