Fun Cape Teal Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Sep 13, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
Cape teal facts are great for kids.

Do you want to know more about different species of ducks? If yes, then you'll be thrilled to learn about the Cape teal (Anas capensis) that hails from Southern Africa.

It's said to prefer a habitat like the wetlands of sub-Saharan Africa. But, apart from the wetlands, the bird is also seen in lagoons, estuaries and other habitats near water.

Apart from South Africa, this bird is also found in Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and other parts of Africa.

Its body is mainly covered in pale brown and white feathers except for the green and black speculum feathers on the wings which are seen when it flies. The Cape teal feeds on aquatic invertebrates and aquatic plants among other things.

This species has a good population and it seems to be increasing according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It's not a migratory bird but may move to other places along with the rains.

Want to know more about the duck? Keep reading to learn interesting Cape teal facts. Also, check out the articles on the blue-winged teal and cinnamon teal to know more about similar species.

Cape Teal Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Cape teal?

Cape teal (Anas capensis) is a species of duck that are found in different parts of Africa.

What class of animal does a Cape teal belong to?

Like other ducks, the Cape teal belongs to class Aves. It also belongs to the order Anseriformes and genus Anas. Even the American black duck belongs to the same order as the Cape teal.

How many Cape teals are there in the world?

Even though it's hard to find the exact population of this non-migratory duck species because it's spread in different parts of Africa, a speculated calculation was of 100,000–250,000 individuals. However, some sources believe that the numbers should be more. And, it's said that the population of these ducks is on the increase.

Where does a Cape teal live?

The Cape teal (Anas capensis) is a duck species that inhabit different areas of Africa, but it's predominantly seen in South Africa. However, a patchy distribution is found in Chad, Niger, Nigeria as well as in Ethiopia to the Rift valley of Tanzania. In Southern Africa, you can find these ducks in Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and South Africa.

What is a Cape teal's habitat?

As it's a species of duck you can guess that it likes to live near water. And, the Cape teal has a preference for shallow brackish or salty lagoons. It's also said to inhabit open wetlands of sub-Saharan Africa. However, you can also spot the duck in saltpans, estuaries, tidal mudflats, and even on rivers.

Who do Cape teals live with?

You can often find the birds dabbling in open wetlands or similar habitats, and the species likes to gather in small flocks. However, if you happen to visit its habitat during the molting season you can find hundreds of ducks in the same wetlands.

How long does a Cape teal live?

The Cape teal (Anas capensis) lifespan is said to be around 20-30 years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of the Cape teal varies according to the habitat and geographical location of a population, but it depends a lot on the rainfall. These birds aren't migratory in nature but they can move a little to find proper breeding grounds.

Pairs are monogamous and may last for many seasons. The female is the one to choose the nesting place and it may take up to 10 days to build a nest.

These birds are known for having large clutches of around 5-11 eggs having a pale or deep cream color. The incubation period is around 26-30 days and while the female sits on the eggs, the male guards it.

Chicks are born with smokey gray down with pale underparts and in 42-56 days the chicks are out of the nest. It takes around a year for the chicks to reach sexual maturity.

What is their conservation status?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the Cape teal is classified under the status of Least Concern.

Cape Teal Fun Facts

What do Cape teals look like?

The Cape teal (Anas capensis) looks similar to other teal ducks, and its body is covered in pale brown and white feathers. Most of its body is covered in spots.

It also has a dark gray face patch along with a red bill. The teal or green and black color can be seen on its speculum which is usually surrounded by white feathers. This may not be seen when the wings are close, but you can see the beautiful green when the bird flies.

You can often spot the females as the feathers and even bills are pale compared to that of the male. These birds also have yellowish feet and reddish eyes.

Cape teal facts help to know about new bird species.

How cute are they?

Yes, these birds are as cute as the harlequin ducks and the Cape teal looks amazing while dabbling into the water.

How do they communicate?

These birds do not really make a sound, but occasionally the male will give out a nasal squeak while the female has a quacking noise. During the breeding season, the female birds make a 'ke-ke-ke-ke-ke' sound while the male gives out a clear whistle sound.

How big is a Cape teal?

The Cape teal has an average body size range of around 17.3-18.8 in (44-47.7 cm). Compared to it the green-winged teal has a slightly smaller average body size range of 12.2-15.3 in (31-38.8 cm).

How fast can a Cape teal fly?

Even though we don't know the exact flying speed range of the Cape teal, but its closest relatives are known to have a flying speed of around 30 mph (48.2 kph).

How much does a Cape teal weigh?

The average weight range of the Cape teal is around 11.1-17.7 oz (314.6-501.7 g). The male ducks tend to weigh more than the female ducks.

What are the male and female names of the species?

While the male ducks are usually known as drakes, the female is just called a duck.

What would you call a baby Cape teal?

The baby of a Cape teal is known as a duckling.

What do they eat?

This is an omnivorous bird species and its diet mainly consists of aquatic invertebrates and amphibians. When it comes to the invertebrates, it can eat the insect as well as its larvae.

Tadpoles also take up a huge part of its diet and some also feed on Coriscidae adults. Plant matter is also present in the diet of these ducks and it's mainly seen feeding on seeds, leaves as well as on stems of aquatic plants.

A study found that this species likes feeding on the Potomogeton pectinatum plant species. You can catch the ducks feeding in the daytime which is usually in the afternoon.

In shallow waters, these birds hunt by swimming, dabbling, head dipping, and upending. It's also one of the duck species that loves to dive.

Are they dangerous?

No, this is a sweet little bird species. However, do not try to get too close to it as when irritated it can end up giving it a bite.

Would they make a good pet?

Please check local laws and regulations about the practice of keeping any animal as a pet.

Did you know...

In its binomial name Anas capensis, the word 'capensis' stands for from the Cape.

Just like the true diving ducks, the Cape teal also has the ability to swim underwater with its wings closed.

Around the bill of this bird, you can find serrations that scientists believe are used for filtering out its food before it's eaten.

Do Cape teals migrate?

The Cape teal is a non-migratory bird species. However, it's said the species moves to different parts of South Africa with the trend of rain. It has also been observed in Angola, Congo, Malawi, and Zambia. There was one instance where these birds have traveled as far as Djibouti.

Is a Cape teal a duck?

Yes, the Cape teal is a species of dabbling ducks.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these sea eagle facts and crested duck facts for kids.

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

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

Read full bio >
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi

Postgraduate Diploma in Management

Sakshi Raturi picture

Sakshi RaturiPostgraduate Diploma in Management

Sakshi has experience in marketing strategy, social media planning, and recruiting industry experts for capstone projects, she has displayed a commitment to enhancing their skills and knowledge. She has won multiple awards, including a Certificate of Appreciation for Creative Writing and a Certificate of Merit for Immaculate Turut, and is always seeking new opportunities to grow and develop.

Read full bio >