Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Andean Teal (Anas andium)


French: Sarcelle des Andes German: Nordandenente Spanish: Cerceta andina
Other common names: Merida Speckled Teal (altipetens)

Querquedula andium

P. L. Sclater and Salvin

, 1873,

high Ecuador between Riobamba and Mocha


Sometimes placed in genus Nettion. Usually treated as conspecific with A. flavirostris, but separation as full species accepted here on basis of coloration and published morphometric distinctions#R, namely all-dark vs half-yellow bill (3); longer bill, which is not simply correlated with slightly larger size of bird (andium 39–42, altipetens 40–42 vs flavirostris 29–38, oxyptera 33–37; allow 2); lack of tawny-buff tinge in head and upperbody plumage (1); longer wing (mean male altipetens 225, andium 233 vs flavirostris 197, median oxyptera 215; allow 1). A. andium differs also from adjacent High Andean race oxyptera of A. flavirostris on account of same first three characters above (6), plus heavily vs lightly dark-mottled breast, mantle and back and dingy grey-brown vs greyish-cream underparts (2). Two subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. a. altipetens (Conover, 1941) – E Andes of Colombia S to Bogotá, E to NW Venezuela (Mérida, Táchira and Trujillo).
  • A. a. andium (P. L. Sclater & Salvin, 1873) – Andes of C Colombia, Ecuador and extreme N Peru#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    35–45 cm; 484 g (male andium). Formerly considered conspecific with A. flavirostris (see Taxonomy comments); like latter has no eclipse plumage. Male... read more


    No known differences from A. flavirostris.


    Variety of freshwater lakes, rivers and marshes, at high altitude in mountainous country in bogs... read more

    Food and feeding

    No known differences from A. flavirostris.


    Season variable according to locality; starts Feb in Colombia, but season generally Oct–Mar in race andium and Aug–Dec in ... read more


    Mainly sedentary, though can be forced to descend to lower altitudes by adverse winter weather,... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Both races considered to be less numerous than those of A. flavirostris (< 20,000 birds each) due to more restricted... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Andean Teal (Anas andium). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 13 December 2019).