Duck (Grey teal) Anas gracilis
Species: A. gracilis
Binomial name: Anas gracilis
Synonym: Anas gibberifrons gracilis
Conmmon name: Grey teal
Anas gracilis is a dabbling duck (feeds mainly at the surface) found in open wetlands in New Zealand, New Guinea, Indonesia, Australia, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. It was self-introduced to New Zealand. In 1957, large numbers fled Australia, moving to New Zealand to escape drought.
It is a small grey-brown teal with pale-edged body feathers, pale cheeks, chin and throat, crimson eyes, and a dark grey bill. The wings are dark brown with darker brown primaries, a broad green speculum on the secondaries, and a white stripe on the inner wing in front of the speculum patch on the inner remiges (flight feathers).
Anas gracilis have a body length of 42-44 cm and the male weighs 505 g and the female are lighter at 470 g.
The grey teal nests near its favoured freshwater lakes and marshes, usually on the ground, but also in tree holes or rabbit burrows.
New Zealand’s Anas gracilis population in 2015 was estimated at around 120,000. Consideration was given to adding the grey teal to the game bird list when the Wildlife Act was reviewed in 2010, but the grey teal still remains fully protected in New Zealand.
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