Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Cape Teal (Anas capensis)


French: Canard du Cap German: Fahlente Spanish: Cerceta de El Cabo

Anas capensis

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Cape of Good Hope, South Africa


Sometimes placed in genus Nettion. Monotypic.


Patchy distribution in Chad, Niger and Nigeria (Chad Valley), Ethiopia S to Tanzania (Rift Valley) and S Africa (Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa).

Descriptive notes

44–48 cm; male 352–502 g, female 316–451 g. Typically shows traces of crest on nape; colours fairly variable and can seem greenish grey; generally... read more


Usually silent, but male gives soft nasal squeak and female a low quacking note, while both sexes... read more


Strong preference for shallow lagoons of brackish or saline waters, including saltpans, lagoons,... read more

Food and feeding

Aquatic invertebrates (insects and their larvae, crustaceans) and small amphibians (tadpoles); also plant matter, principally seeds, leaves... read more


Season variable, according to locality and extent of rainfall; Jun–Sept in Sudan, Jan, Mar–May, Sept–Oct in Ethiopia, Apr... read more


Mainly sedentary, though may wander widely during droughts and appear well outside normal range,... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widespread and locally common to abundant, though patchily distributed and scarce over much of its range. Total population unknown,... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Cape Teal (Anas capensis). 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 14 December 2019).