Speckled Teal




Speckled Teal in South America

Scientific name: Anas flavirostris

Family: Anatidae

Spanish name: Pato barcino

Migration: Partial Neotropical migrant

Population estimate: > 1,000,000 ([1])

Trend: Stable ([1])

Ramsar Criterion 6 (1% level): > 10,000 ([1])

IUCN Conservation status: Not known to have unfavourable conservation status


Distribution and abundances

Four subspecies described for South America. A. flavirostris flavirostris distributes in southern South America (Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Southern Brazil), south to Tierra del Fuego and the Malvinas / Falkland Islands. A. flavirostris oxyptera distributes along the Andes, from northern Argentina and Chile (about 30º S) to southern Peru. A. flavirostris altipetens and A. flavirostris andium distribute along the Andes of Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador. Low to medium numbers; abundant only in a few sites, with the highest counts corresponding to high Andes lakes like Junín and Titicaca, in Peru (link to Abundances map). No sites reaching the 1% threshold (Ramsar Convention Criterion No. 6) were identified. 


Migration and seasonality

The southern Patagonia populations migrates northwards in April, to northern Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and south-eastern Brazil, returning by August. Migration occurs along the western, central and eastern Argentina routes. Some birds remain in southern Patagonia the whole year. A. flavirostris oxyptera moves locally from high altitudes (4000 m) to the Pacific lowlands in northern Chile and southern Peru in July-October (link to Seasonality map).



All kind of wetlands, including marine coasts, estuaries and tidal creeks, saltmarshes, flooded grasslands, lagoons, lakes, fresh-water marshes, rivers and streams, and bogs with ponds and creeks. Also recorded in rice fields.


Habits and interactions with human activities

In small groups, but sometimes gregarious and in mixed flocks with other duck species. Common duck but abundant only in a few sites. Associated to rural areas and recorded in rice-fields. Common in artificial ponds close to farm houses and in urban wetlands, sharing the habitat with poultry.



Albrieu, C., S. Imberti & S. Ferrari. 2004. Las aves de la Patagonia Sur - El Estuario del Río Gallegos y zonas aledañas. Ed. Univ. Nac. Patagonia Austral, Río Gallegos. 204 pp.

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.

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.

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: Pablo F. Petracci

Photographer: Roberto Güller

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

([1]) For subspecies Anas flavirostris flavirostris; not including the Falkland / Malvinas Islands (18,000-33,000 birds) and the other subspecies: A. f. oxyptera (25,000-100,000 birds), A. f. andium (< 20,000) and A. f. altipetens (< 20,000).



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



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