Cape Teal | Anas capensis

Robert's Birding Information: The Cape Teal

The Cape Teal is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Anatidae bird family group which includes birds such as Ducks, Geese.

The description for the Cape Teal (Latin name Anas capensis) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Anas capensis can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 106 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 101. You will find a picture of the Cape Teal on page 96.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Cape Teal between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Cape Teal has a height of 46 cms and weighs around 420 gms. The head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured pink. The Anas capensis has a grey coloured throat, yellow legs and a yellow, brown coloured back. The eyes are red.

The male Anas capensis has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is grey.

Eyes are red.

Bill is pink.

Legs are yellow.

Throat is grey.

Back is yellow, brown.

Photo's & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult  
Female Adult  
Non Breeding Plumage N/A

Cape Teal Feeding Habits ...

The Cape Teal is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage.

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

Cape Teal Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Cape Teal is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 4 to 13 eggs and they are coloured yellow.

The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.

The Cape Teal is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks.