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Cape Teal

Cape Teal
Photo Information
Copyright: Jan Hendrik van Rooyen (janhendrik) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 363 W: 58 N: 667] (2392)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-04-10
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 300D, Canon EF 100-400mm L IS USM
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2005-07-29 17:57
Viewed: 4735
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Cape Teal (Anas capensis)


Differences in appearance between the sexes are minimal with females being slightly smaller, paler and less speckled and males may have undeveloped crests that can be heightened in times of excitement.


Most numerous in the drier regions throughout Southern Africa, Cape Teal frequent shallow lakes and marshes in open country, but also lagoons, estuaries and tidal flats. They are mainly a nocturnal species, usually keeping to themselves in pairs or small flocks, and spend much of their time ashore.


Cape Teal are one of the few species of dabbling ducks that dive, and are surprisingly capable of swimming underwater with closed wings like true diving ducks. Other dabbling ducks dive in this way but they usually open their wings while under water. Generally Cape Teal display on any occasion throughout the year and their preflight movements are like that of other dabbler species in which neck-jerking and lateral head shaking is common. Males have a clear high-pitched whistle and the call of the female is that of a nasal sounding quack.

Several courtship behaviors are unique to the Cape Teal such as nod swimming. Both sexes display this behavior in the same way, and often nod swimming is done concurrently by both males and females.
Mating behavior is unusual in many ways as well, beginning with a mutual preening behind the wing and followed by mutual head pumping. Males perform head-up-tail-up behaviors during courtship as well, which involves spreading the tail and raising the wings so that the speculum is showing, finishing by lowering the wing and pointing the bill towards the female. There is no nod swimming afterwards as the male remains in a motionless posture facing the female.


Cape Teal feed by head dipping (or dabbling) on both plant and animal material that includes water plants, plankton, crustaceans and tadpoles. These birds have tooth-like projections bordering the bill, which suggests that filter feeding may be important to this species.


Cape Teal breed throughout the year, but most often between March and May. Nest sites are usually located in dense vegetation and not necessarily located near water.

Cape Teal are one of the few species of dabbling ducks in which the male remains with the female and plays an active part in raising the young. Because both parents raise the ducklings, fewer offspring die. Cape Teal are good parents and will vigorously defend their young even against larger birds.

I have copied most of this content from the Honululu Zoo’s webpage. Please visit them as it is a very well presented and informative website.

This picture was taken at the Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary in Muckleneuk, Pretoria.

nofer, chiliu, wallhalla15, electra, rodosranger, sandpiper2 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Jan

Nice shot. The eye colour is amazing. Really stands out. The POV is nice showing good detail. The only nit is I would have liked to see the entire reflection. Good work. Thanks.

  • Great 
  • nofer Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1190 W: 366 N: 811] (2307)
  • [2005-07-29 22:06]

Lindo!!! Muito boa foto. Contraste e nitidez excelente.
Boas cores.

  • Great 
  • chiliu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1457 W: 0 N: 1176] (6526)
  • [2005-07-29 22:25]

Hi Jan-Hendrik,
Very good details in feathers and eye, great composition.
Excellent shot!


Jan-Hendrik. beautiful natural shot - very clear and colourful. Fantastic composition and great details. Superb colors. Well done & TFS!

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2005-07-30 16:25]

Jan, a very beautiful bird, a great photo.

Excellent sharpness, colors, pov and composition.

Cute and beautiful.


Good sharp image and I like the emphasis on that red eye, very nice.

Thanks for the email, I am trying to be as honest as possible with comments. Its not always easy, its especially hard to say bad things about peoples work and I guess the skill in that is doing it tactfully and constructively!

You have a lot of excellent shots in your portfolio, keep them coming!


Nice picture of this bird! Colors are nice. Good DOF and details of the feathers.
Well done and TFS!

Attractive looking duck. Nice POV and focus. Well exposed.

Hello Jan Hendrik,
This is a nice shot. This red eyed duck is really beautiful. Sharpness and details are perfect. Good work.

BR Martina

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