Auckland Islands Teals

The Auckland Islands Teal (Anas aucklandica) is a species of dabbling duck of the genus Anas that is endemic to Auckland Islands south of New Zealand.

The species was once found throughout the Auckland Islands but is now restricted to the islands that lack introduced predators; Adams Island, Enderby Island, Disappointment Island and a few smaller islands.

An old report of “the same flightless duck” on North East Island, The Snares group (Hector, 1896) most likely refers to a straggler.

The species inhabits a variety of habitats with the islands, including tussockgrass fields, megaherb shrubland and coastal waters.

Description

The Auckland Islands Teal is smaller and raker than the Brown Teal of the main islands of New Zealand, a species that it was once considered conspecific with (of or the same species).

The plumage is all over brown with a hint of green on the neck and a conspicuous white eyering. The female is slightly darker than the male. The wings are very small and the species has, like the related Campbell Island Teal, lost the power of flight.

The Auckland Islands Teal is mostly crepuscular to nocturnal, preferring to hide from predators (New Zealand Falcons and skuas) during the day.

Diet / Feeding

It is carnivrous for the most part, feeding on marine invertabrates, insects, amphipods and other small Invertebrates. The Auckland Islands Teal are territorial and seldom form flocks.