British Waterfowl Association

Cape Teal

Cape Teal family swimming
Cape Teal family — Morag Jones

Distribution of the Cape Teal is throughout South Africa except the easternmost part. They move about according to rainfall and seasonal conditions. They will frequent large and small areas of water and marshes, in open and savannah country; also often found around salt lakes.

Cape Teal
Cape Teal — Will Costa

Anas capensis

The Cape Teal is a relatively pale coloured bird, but nevertheless very attractive. Much of the plumage is distinctly spotted and the markings on the bill are light pink with narrow black margins and base, with a blue tinge on the anterior portion.

Both vegetable and animal matter constitute the diet of this dabbling duck. Mixed corn or wheat along with a compound pellet are welcomed. Cape Teal are not very vocal, but during the breeding season the female emits a low quacking sound and the male has a rather husky whistle.

In captivity they are treasured because of their pretty shape, their light tone and their beautiful pink bill. Drakes can be over-amorous and they may hybridise with other dabbling ducks.

A pair of Cape Teal on grass
Cape Teal — Darren Williamson
Cape Teal swimming
Cape Teal — Morag Jones

Although not cavity nesters in the wild, the female is not averse to laying her eggs in a raised box erected in the enclosure.

Ring Size


This size is only a guide. Please read more about ringing here.

Cape Teal are not difficult to breed and may produce two or three clutches of eggs in a year. The laying season is variable in Europe and they may start as early as February. 6 to 11 cream-coloured eggs are incubated for an average of 26 days.