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The Brown Teal - Fact Sheet
Brown teal (Anas chlorotis)
Not only is the brown teal one of New Zealand's least known endangered species, it is also the world's fourth rarest water fowl.
These shy homebodies whose Maori name is Pateke can also be surprisingly gregarious at times. When they are not busy mating to try to produce one offspring a year, they enjoy group get-togethers at different roost sites around Awana.
Brown Teal make good parents and are one of the few species where the males help to raise the young by staying to guard the breeding territory when the eggs hatch after a about a month's incubation.
The birds feed mainly at night, wandering through stream beds and paddocks at dusk looking for juicy insects, worms, snails and succulent shoots and roots. They also use their bills as mini-dredges to sift through estuary mud for invertebrates.
Awana Catchment and Okiwi, 15km further north on Great Barrier Island, are the brown teals' main habitats these days and two of the few places where their numbers are not declining.
Northland (in New Zealand's North Island) once had a healthy brown teal population but their numbers have dwindled drastically because of predators like cats and stoats and because humans have invaded their natural habitats, draining wetlands and reclaiming estuaries.
Brown Teal love Awana's boggy, reed and sedge-covered pastoral flats and streams.
The brown teal has a small head, dark brown face and a fine white ring around its eyes. It body is mainly dark brown with pale edges to the feathers and its breast is chestnut. It has a blue-black bill and slate-grey legs and feet.
In the breeding season, mainland male ducks develop glossy green hats of plumage and distinguished narrow white collars and white patches on their flanks. But the island males are not so flashy. Males give soft, high-pitched wheezy whistles, and females give low quacks and growls.
ACT has continued to remove feral predators and monitor wildlife in
The Awana Catchment Trust relies on the goodwill and generosity of public and private donors. If you would
These days you're only likely to spot the Brown Teal in parts of Auckland
and Northland. And