• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Blue-billed Teal - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 14:39, 6 May 2022 by Sbarnhardt (talk | contribs) (Add additional Gsearch for common name Hottentot Teal, add Gsearch checked template)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)

Alternative name: Hottentot Teal

Photo © by leon
Marievale, near Johannesburg, South Africa, 27 Apr 2004
Spatula hottentota


Length 30–36 cm (12-14 in), mass 186-305 g.

Adults in flight
Photo © by Mohamed Ismael
Khartoum, Sudan, 15 October 2015
  • Black and white underwings.
  • Bluish-grey feet

Sexes similar, but the female has paler underparts and lacks green speculum. Juvenile is duller than adult.

Similar Species

Red-billed Duck is similar but much larger and has a red (not blue) bill and lacks the dark smudge on its cheeks.


Eastern and Southern Africa, northern Nigeria and Southern Niger east to Lake Chad area; Ethiopia south to Namibia and Western Cape Province, South Africa; Madagascar.


This is a monotypic species[1].
Formerly placed in the genus Anas.


Well-vegetated ponds and lakes, freshwater marshes, inland waters and flood plains.



Aquatic invertebrates (crustaceans, molluscs, insects and larvae, especially Coleoptera and Diptera), seeds, fruits, roots and vegetation.


Season variable, mainly according to water levels: all months in South Africa (peaking Jan–Apr, wet season), Apr–May and Aug. A nest is built in over water in a dense clump of emergent vegetation (usually bulrushes, reeds or sedges); 6-8 cream eggs are laid and incubated for 25-27 days by the female.


Male in courtship gives soft quacks. Clicking notes given by both sexes, e.g. a harsh “ke-ke-ke”, repeated up to 5–7 times with reduced intensity.


Mostly sedentary, but subject to seasonal movements of dispersal related with availability of water.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Hottentot Teal (Spatula hottentota). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/52889 on 5 July 2018).
  3. Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533
  4. Sinclair, I., Hockey, P.A.R., and Arlott, N. (2005). The Larger Illustrated Guide to Birds of Southern Africa. Struik, Cape Town. ISBN 978-1775840992
  1. The Website of Everything

Recommended Citation

External Links

Search the Gallery using the scientific name:

Search the Gallery using the common name Hottentot Teal:

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.