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Auckland Islands Teal - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by MariettaBirder
Enderby Island, Auckland Islands, New Zealand, 8 January 2007

Alternative name: Flightless Teal

Anas aucklandica


Length: 36–48 cm(15¼-19"; weight: 500–620 g, female 409–560 g.
It is the only teal within its range. It is a small, short-winged and flightless, dark brown duck with broadly similar plumage to that of Brown Teal A. chlorotis and Campbell Islands Teal A. nesiotis.


New Zealand: found on islets off the Auckland Islands


Monotypic[1] Formerly lumped with Brown Teal and Campbell Island Teal but the two flightless forms from the Subantarctic are now split as a separate species. All three are genetically distinct and treated as separate species for conservation purposes following a phylogenetic species concept. (Daugherty et al. 1999, Kennedy and Spencer 2000). However H&M4 lump all three under the name "New Zealand Teal" presumably to preserve their former status under the biological species concept and the belief that taxonomy should not be driven by conservation concerns.


Primarily inhabits sheltered coastlines and uses dense coastal vegetation for escape and cover.


These are quite elusive birds as they cling to the shore of the small ponds on the islands and are frequently under overhanging vegetation.


Mostly aquatic invertebrates (insects and their larvae, crustaceans, molluscs): feeds mostly in washed-up seaweed.


Mainly late October to April. Monogamous and single-brooded. Male defends breeding territory.


Apparently identical to A. chlorotis and A. nesiotis.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Carboneras, C., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2017). Auckland Teal (Anas aucklandica). 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 http://www.hbw.com/node/52874 on 26 February 2017).
  3. Ceridwen I. Fraser, Hamish Gordon Spencer, and Jonathan Michael Waters (2012) Durvillaea poha sp. nov. (Fucales, Phaeophyceae): a buoyant southern bull-kelp species endemic to New Zealand. Phycologia. 51:151-156. http://dx.doi.org/10.2216/11-47.1
  4. Daugherty, C.H., M. Williams, and J.M. Hay. 1999. Genetic differentiation, taxonomy and conservation of Australasian teals Anas spp. Bird Conservation International 9:29-42. https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/S0959270900003324
  5. Kennedy, M. & H.G. Spencer 2000. Phylogeny, biogeography and taxonomy of Australasian teals. Auk 117(1):154-163. PDF
  6. Marchant, S. & Higgins, P.J. (coordinating editors) 1990. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand & Antarctic Birds. Volume 1, Ratites to ducks. Melbourne, Oxford University Press.
  7. Shirihai, H. (2007) A Complete Guide to Antarctic Wildlife. The Birds and Marine Mammals of the Antarctic Continent and the Southern Ocean. 2nd edition. A&C Black, London.
  8. Williams, M.J. 2013. Auckland Island teal. In Miskelly, C.M. (ed.) New Zealand Birds Online. http://www.nzbirdsonline.org.nz

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