Silver Teal



Silver Teal in South America

Scientific name: Anas versicolor

Family: Anatidae

Spanish name: Pato capuchino

Migration: Partial Neotropical migrant

Population estimate: 25,000-100,000 ([1])

Trend: Stable ([1])

Ramsar Criterion 6 (1% level): 1,000 ([1])

IUCN Conservation status: Not known to have unfavourable conservation status


Distribution and abundances

Two subspecies are recognized in South America. A. versicolor fretensis breeds in Patagonia and distributes from Tierra del Fuego and the Malvinas / Falkland Islands to central Argentina and Chile (ca. 40 º S). A. versicolor versicolor breeds in central-east Argentina (Chaco and Pampas), distributing north to southern Peru and Bolivia, central Chile and southern Brazil. The highest abundances were recorded within the pampas and north-east Argentina, Uruguay, southern Brazil and south of Peru (link to Abundances map). The unique site reaching the 1% threshold (Ramsar Convention Criterion No. 6) is Lago Titicaca, in Peru.


Migration and seasonality

The most southerly populations of both subspecies migrate northwards during the winter, reaching Paraguay, Uruguay and southern Brazil (bird banded in Buenos Aires province, in Argentina, was recovered in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil). Migration occurs along the central and eastern Argentina routes. (link to Seasonality map).



Fresh-water and shallow wetlands, including lagoons, marshes and ponds with emergent and floating vegetation, flooded grasslands, rice fields and streams. Also recorded in estuaries and tidal creeks.


Habits and interactions with human activities

Common but in small numbers, sometimes in mixed groups with other duck species. Low numbers recorded in rice-fields.



Blanco, D.E., B. López-Lanús, R.A. Dias, A. Azpiroz & F. Rilla. 2006. Uso de arroceras por chorlos y playeros migratorios en el sur de América del Sur. Implicancias de conservación y manejo. Wetlands International. Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Canevari, M., P. Canevari, G.R. Carrizo, G. Harris, J. Rodríguez Mata & R. Straneck. 1991. Nueva Guía de las Aves Argentinas. Fundación Acindar. Santiago de Chile. Tome I: 200 pp. and Tome II: 182 pp.

del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & J. Sargatal (eds). 1992. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 1. Ostrich to Ducks. Lynx Ed., Barcelona.

Fjeldsa, J. & N. Krabbe. 1990. Birds of the High Andes. Zoological Museum, Univ. of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Menegheti, J.O. & J.C. Dotto. 2002. Regulaciones de caza en Rio Grande do Sul y resultados de los monitoreos de Anátidos: acuerdos y controversias; in Blanco, D.E., J. Beltrán & V. de la Balze (eds.): Primer Taller sobre la Caza de Aves Acuáticas: 59-66. Wetlands International.

Narosky, T. & D. Yzurieta. 1987. Guía para la identificación de las aves de Argentina y Uruguay. Asoc. Ornitológica del Plata. Vázquez Manzini Ed. Buenos Aires. 345 pp.

Olrog, C.C. 1963. Lista y distribución de las aves argentinas. Opera Lilloana IX, Tucumán.

Olrog, C.C. 1968. Las aves sudamericanas: Una guía de campo. Tomo I. Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Fundación - Instituto Miguel Lillo, Tucumán, Argentina.

Olrog, C.C. 1969. El anillado de aves en la Argentina: 1961-1968 – Sexto informe. Neotropica 15 (47): 82-88.

Olrog, C.C. 1971. El anillado de aves en la Argentina: 1961-1971 – Séptimo informe. Neotropica 17 (53): 97-100.

Rodríguez Mata, J., F. Erize & M. Rumboll. 2006. Guía de Campo Collins – Aves de Sudamérica: No Passeriformes. Harper Collins Ltd.

Wetlands International. 2006. Waterbird Population Estimates – Fourth Edition. Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Woods, R.W. & Anne Woods. 1997. Atlas of Breeding birds of the Falkland Islands. Anthony Nelson, England. 190 pp.




Authors: Daniel E. Blanco, Román Baigún & Bernabé López-Lanús

Data compiler: Diego Monteleone

Photographer: Roberto Güller

Recommended citation: Blanco D.E., R. Baigún & B. López-Lanús. 2008. Silver Teal in South America factsheet. Wetlands International for the Global Avian Influenza Network for Surveillance / WCS / USAID.

([1] ) For subspecies A. versicolor versicolor y A. versicolor fretensis; not including the Falkland / Malvinas Islands (2,400-4,500 birds).



Click on the link to download the factsheet in pdf format: Silver Teal



Click on the map to enlarge