17 Silver Teal Facts You’ll Never Forget

Silver teal facts talk about how the southernmost birds migrate to southern Brazil during the winter months

There are several species of ducks in the world, but one of the most fascinating is the silver teal! The silver teal (Anas versicolor) is also known as the southern silver teal or the Versicolor teal. These are elegant-looking ducks found in South America. Earlier, the silver teal was classified as the Puna teal (Anas puna), but now it has been separated from the puna teal and has formed its own individual species. Locally, it has also been given the name of pampa teal. This bird can be seen throughout North America in bird sanctuaries and parks. These birds can also be found in the Falklands but not in as many numbers as in South America. These birds are used for captive breeding for commercial purposes. They are one of the most elegant-looking birds found in the southern part of America. They are also sometimes known by the scientific name Spatula versicolor.

To learn more about this beautiful and elegant bird, read on. If you love reading about this bird, then you may also like reading about the laughing kookaburra and the tawny owl.

Silver teal

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Seeds, aquatic plants, insects, larvae, mollusks, crustaceans

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

6-10 eggs

How much do they weigh?

15.5-16.5 oz (440-470 g)

How long are they?

15-17 in (38-43 cm)

Wingspan: 23 in (58.4 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Yellowish body with black mantle

Skin Type


What are their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Freshwater marshes, lakes, wetlands, slow rivers


South America





Scientific Name

Anas versicolor





Silver Teal Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a silver teal?

A silver teal (Anas versicolor) is a type of bird, specifically a duck.

What class of animal does a silver teal belong to?

The silver teal or the southern silver teal belongs to the class Aves.

How many silver teals are there in the world?

The worldwide population of the silver teal (Anas versicolor) is estimated to be around 25000-100,000 mature individuals, and this huge population is the reason for it being an animal of Least Concern when it comes to its conservation status.

Where does a silver teal live?

Silver teals can be found in South America in the Andes from pampas marshes to Puna areas at up to 15,091 ft (4600 m) of elevation. It can range from southern Bolivia to southern Brazil and from southern to northern Argentina. It can also be found in the Falklands in ponds with thick vegetation of aquatic plants. The southernmost birds of the distribution range are known to travel to southern Brazil to escape cold winter temperatures.

What is a silver teal's habitat?

The southern silver teal, more commonly known as the silver teal, has a habitat that includes a variety of freshwater wetlands such as swamps, ponds, and lakes which have well-established aquatic vegetation. It can also be found in slow rivers, freshwater marshes, and wetlands of southern Brazil, Bolivia, and Argentina. Other ducks from the area include the Argentine lake duck and the cinnamon teal duck.

Who does the silver teal live with?

The silver teal usually can be seen in pairs or small family groups and can even be seen with members of other Anatidae species.

How long does a silver teal live?

The silver teal has been found to have life expectancy in the range of 15-20 years in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season for the silver teal is between September and January in South America. In the Falklands, it is between October and December. They can nest either in isolated pairs or in loose groups. Their nest is usually made on the ground among dense vegetation and preferably near water. A female builds the nest in the grass with a narrow, elongated depression. Between six and 10 eggs are laid by the female, which have an incubation period of about 25-26 days. The chicks leave the nest soon after hatching and have the capability to feed themselves, but both parents still protect and care for them for a short while. Ducks of this species produce only a single brood per season.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the silver teal is Least Concern according to the Internation Union For Conservation of Nature.

Silver Teal Fun Facts

What do silver teals look like?

Adult birds of this species have a blackish, mostly pitch black mantle, back, and scapular. They have yellowish-white edges to their feathers, and their upper wings have dark brown tertials with yellowish edges. The coverts on the upper wing are gray with a black subterminal band and a broad white border. Silver teal hair and feathers are a beautiful color. The underwing is white with dark edges, and the underparts, breasts, and upper belly are yellowish with blackish-brown spots. The cheeks and neck are buffy white, and the bill is pale blue with a pale yellow upper base. The eyes of these birds are dark brown, and the legs and webbed feet are dark gray. These birds have a short tail, upper tail, and rump.

The chicks, after hatching, are dark brown from above and pale grayish below. They have dorsal spots of brown color on their wings and sides. They also have an eye stripe that is broad black and extends to the nape. The bills of chicks are grayish-blue. Juveniles look like adults but are duller with brown heads and less distinct patterns.

Silver teals (Anas versicolor) have a distribution range in the Falklands

How cute are they?

These ducks are extremely cute with their dark black caps and yellowish-brown colorful, elegant body.

How do they communicate?

The southern silver teal is a species of ducks that is fairly silent. The silver teal duck makes some sounds to accompany its behavior. Males produce a continuous rattle when they are swimming. When in family groups with a female and his chicks, the male also produces a series of alarm calls which sound like quiet buzzing sounds. Females produce loud quacking notes before breeding and sometimes a long decrescendo call which often includes more than 10 notes.

How big is a silver teal?

The silver teal, Anas versicolor, has a wingspan range of 23 in (58.4 cm) and is as big as 15-17 in (38-43 cm). This bird is similar in size to the green-winged teal.

How fast can a silver teal move?

The exact speed of birds of this species is not known as it has not been studied yet.

How much does a silver teal weigh?

The silver teal (Anas versicolor) weighs around the range of 15.5-16.5 oz (440-470 g). This duck is much lighter than the blue-winged teal.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The males and females of the species are called drakes and hens, respectively, with their scientific name being A. versicolor.

What would you call a baby silver teal?

A baby silver teal is called a chick.

What do they eat?

The diet of silver teals consists of seeds, aquatic plants, insects, larvae, and invertebrates like mollusks and crustaceans.

Are they poisonous?

No, these birds aren't poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

Birds of this species are used for captive breeding, but since they thrive in the wild, there are no properties in these birds that would make them a great pet, apart from their elegant look.

Did you know...

As well as the large population of silver teals in South America, there are about 1000 breeding pairs of this species in the Falklands as well.

How high can they fly?

They can fly high above the lakes and marshes they live in, but the exact height of their flight is not known.

Are they predators?

Although they feed on various aquatic invertebrates, they cannot be said to be predators.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our hawk facts and eagle facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable silver teal coloring pages.



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