Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Near Threatened

Brown Teal (Anas chlorotis)


French: Sarcelle de Nouvelle-Zélande German: Neuseeland-Ente Spanish: Cerceta maorí

Anas chlorotis

G. R. Gray

, 1845,

New Zealand


Sometimes placed in genus Nettion. Commonly treated as conspecific with A. aucklandica and A. nesiotis, and relationship clearly very close, but sometimes separated out#R#R and differs from both in its more obvious speculum in male (2); different patterning on upperparts in male (clear pale borders of feathers vs none, much less close barring, no green reflections in dorsal feathering) (3); generally more white at base of foreneck (1); larger size (wing female 194±8 vs 120±0; effect size 9.25; score 3)#R. Population of South I has sometimes been assigned a separate subspecies, peculiaris. Hybridization with A. platyrhynchos recorded. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Great Barrier I and isolated areas of North I (Mimiwhangata Bay and Teal Bay) and SW South I (Fiordland), in New Zealand; formerly more widespread (including Chatham Is). Reintroduced at several locations (Coromandel, Tawharanui, Cape Kidnappers, Tuhua I), but uncertain as yet if these populations will survive.

Descriptive notes

36–48 cm; male 586–860 g, female 530–860 g. Present species resembles wholly allopatric A. castanea of Australia, with breeding male having head... read more


Male gives soft, high-pitched wheezy, bisyllabic whistles, “mmn-yea”, given when disturbed, during... read more


Coastal waters in sheltered bays and, inland, on marshes, pools and streams with some tree cover.... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly aquatic invertebrates (insects and their larvae, crustaceans, molluscs). Forages by probing, dabbling, upending and diving near... read more


Mainly Jun–Oct, peak Jul–Aug, but broods recorded all months except Apr–May. Monogamous and single-brooded, although... read more


Presumably sedentary; not recorded outside its now much-reduced range.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. CITES I. Restricted-range species: present in North Island of New Zealand EBA and South Island of New Zealand... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Brown Teal (Anas chlorotis). 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 7 December 2019).