Brown Teal

Anas chlorotis - Sarcelle de Nouvelle-Zélande

Sarcelle de Nouvelle-Zélande
  • Order 


  • Family


  • Genus


  • Species



Gray, GR, 1845

  • Size
    : 50 cm
  • Wingspan
    : -
  • Weight
Geographic range



Sarcelle de Nouvelle-Zélande

Brown Teal have a generally dark appearance. Males in breeding plumage have a glossy green head, rufous-brown flanks and chest, and brown upperparts. They have a white patch at the rear of their bodies and a very thin white collar which may not be visible. Females, young, and eclipse males are a warm brown colour, almost uniform. The bill is blue. In flight there is a large, barely framed, green mirror. The species is distinguished from the Brown Teal, Anas castanea, by its white eye-ring. The Brown Teal has a wide white patch above the green mirror in flight. Birds living on the two main islands (Anas chlorotis) have recently been separated from those living in the Auckland Islands (Anas aucklandica) and Campbell Islands (Anas nesiotis). Individuals found in these islands do not fly. This is not the case for 'chlorotis', although we have never seen it flying.

Subspecific information monotypic species

Foreign names

  • Sarcelle de Nouvelle-Zélande,
  • Cerceta maorí,
  • marrequinha-maori,
  • Neuseelandente,
  • Bruine Taling,
  • Alzavola bruna,
  • brunkricka,
  • Kobberand,
  • kačica hnedá,
  • čírka novozélandská,
  • Newzealandsk Brunand,
  • ruskotavi,
  • xarxet de Nova Zelanda,
  • cyraneczka rdzawa,
  • Бурый чирок,
  • チャイロコガモ,
  • 褐鸭,
  • 棕腹鴨,

Voice song and cries

Sarcelle de Nouvelle-Zélande

Practically silent. Occasionally soft whistle-like calls between members of the same pair. The female also occasionally emits a series of descending cackles.


The Brown Teal is an endemic species of New Zealand. It can be found in the extreme south of Fiordland (southwest of the south island) as well as in a few points on the north island.

The main part of the population lives on Great Barrier Island. It has been introduced to Tiritiri Matangi Island in the Hauraki Gulf (east of Auckland). It used to populate most of the coastal marshes, ponds and plains wetlands. Currently it can only be found on a few coastal marshes as well as some man-made water bodies, most often surrounded by thick vegetation.

Behaviour character trait

Sarcelle de Nouvelle-Zélande

The Brown Teal of New Zealand is very tame which has probably been to its detriment. It is mainly nocturnal and is mostly encountered in couples or family groups, never in large flocks. Couples seem to stay together for life. Both the male and female stay together all year round. During the breeding season, Brown Teal of New Zealand defend a territory. In my opinion, for the majority of couples this must not be a substantial issue, because there are few that have close neighbours!


Sarcelle de Nouvelle-Zélande

The Brown Teal does not fly willingly, but it is capable of travelling over quite long distances outside the breeding season.

Dietfeeding habits

Sarcelle de Nouvelle-Zélande

The Brown Teal consumes aquatic invertebrates, both in fresh and brackish water, as well as vegetarian debris. It also grazes in the wet meadows close to the water.

Reproduction nesting

The Brown Teal, a bird from the antipodes, has a breeding season in reverse to ducks in our hemisphere, spanning July to December. The nest is a well-concealed cup of grass under bushes close to water, and the female usually lays 6 eggs. During this period, the birds are only active at night. They spend the day under the surrounding vegetation.

Geographic range

Threats - protection

Sarcelle de Nouvelle-Zélande
IUCN conservation status
in the Wild

The Brown Teal of New Zealand is classified as 'endangered' by BirdLife International. At the beginning of the 21st century, the population of wild birds did not exceed 1500 individuals. There are also a few dozen birds raised in captivity in order to create a captive population which would allow for the reintroduction of Brown Teal into the wild. Unfortunately, all attempts at re-introduction have failed (a thousand birds were released to no avail!). The main cause of the drastic decrease in population is the introduction by the European colonists of several species of predatory mammals (mustelids and brushtail possums from Australia). Cats and dogs are also formidable predators. On the other hand, although the species has been protected since 1921, it seems that poaching exists in certain sites. New Zealand ornithologists and conservationists are anything but optimistic and think the populations living on the two main islands are doomed to extinction, even though thanks to continuous control of the predators, some local successes have been recorded. Fortunately, the largest part of the population is living on the island of the Great Barrier, way off in the Hauraki Gulf. It does not seem that the populations introduced on a few predator-free islands are viable as they are too small.

Sources of information

Other sources of interest

QRcode Sarcelle de Nouvelle-ZélandeSpecification sheet created on 01/08/2023 by
Translation by AI
published: - Updated: 11-04-2006
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