Brown teal are a nocturnal dabbling duck that hides in grass and overhanging vegetation during the day, and forages in fields for worms and insects, or in estuaries for small shellfish at night. It will also sieve through muddy pools and even search through cow dung for invertebrates (4). In the non-breeding season, the brown teal is social, forming small groups at roost sites. However, during the breeding season, from July to November, pair bonds are formed or re-established and both partners behave very aggressively to defend their territory, occasionally killing invading teals. A nest is built in thick vegetation close to water, in which the female lays five or six eggs, incubating them for 27 – 30 days. The ducklings fledge at 55 days, but will remain with their family until the following breeding season. Adults moult shortly after the ducklings have hatched, migrating to a flock site when the moult is complete (4).
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