Teal (Madagascar) / Anas bernieri

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There are only 1,500 Madagascar teal living in the wild They were once one of the island’s most common inhabitants It is one of only three duck species endemic to Madagascar

The Madagascar teal is a small, fairly delicate looking duck which looks similar to a female mallard. This species tends to occur in small groups which feed during the day and night, but are most active at dawn and dusk This Madagascar teal feeds on invertebrates and plant matter while wading and sifting through the water with the bill.

Madagascar teals make their nest in tree cavities up to 5m high. This means the hatchlings have to fall from this height to leave the nest. Luckily, the youngsters are cushioned by a flexible cartilage, a bouncy connective tissue that protects the chick before the bones have fully formed.

The ducklings are further protected by fiercely territorial parents who live away from other teal during breeding. The breeding pair nurse clutches of up to six eggs laid during the wet season early in the year. These eggs hatch within four weeks and the ducklings grow plumage after another six.