DUCKS

Chilean Teal

Chilean teal go by different names, Speckled teal, or Sharp wing Teal. Chilean teal are small brownish “female-plumaged” ducks with speckles. Their bills are blue-grey, with the darker colour above the lighter. The head and neck are light greyish-buff finely speckled with black. They are otherwise dark brown above with paler edgings, wing speculum green bordered buff-white behind. Their under parts are buffy-white, usually conspicuous spotted brown on fore neck and breast. A typical call of the male is a mellow “preep,” but in display utters prolonged mellow rippling series of notes. Female vocalization is a gruff “quack” or cackle. Breeding Nest sites vary considerably, from holes in trees, banks and slopes to on the ground among vegetation, usually not far from water. Double brooding can occur in a prolonged season and males often assist females in tending young broods. During spring-summer of first year September to February

They have been known to except nesting boxes as well. The average clutch is 5 to 8 buff coloured eggs

European/Common Shelduck

The common shelduck is not sexually dimorphic, meaning males and females look alike. The only distinguishing characteristic is that males have a “knob” between their bill and forehead during the summer. These large ducks have white plumage, with dark green coloration on the head and random spots on the back. They also have brown coloration under the tail and in a band across the chest. Outside of the breeding season and as juveniles, these colours will appear somewhat duller. They also have pink legs and a red bill. Feeding Common shelducks will feed on a variety of small invertebrates, including insects and crustaceans.

Breeding: These ducks are very social and tend to live in large flocks, some containing up to 50 birds. These birds are monogamous, so when a mating pair is formed, they stay together for life. They build nests in caves, deserted burrows, and other similar places. Females will lay their eggs in May and lay as many as twelve eggs in a clutch, which can take up to one month to hatch. Both parents help care for the young, which are able to fly six to eight weeks after hatching.

The Laysan Duck

The Laysan is teal-sized and dark brown, with a prominent white eye-ring. The bill is short and spatulate, dark green with variable black blotching in males, and dull orange with variable black blotching in females. The Laysan Duck usually has a ring of fat around its neck. Some males show faint iridescence on the head or neck and have slightly upturned central tail feathers. The wing has an iridescent purplish-green patch (speculum feathers) in both sexes. Leucistism, or extensive white feathering, is common on the head and neck of older birds. The legs and feet are orange, usually brighter in the male. The annual pre-basic molt is complete, and the ducks lose all their flight feathers and become incapable of flight until new feathers grow in. Wild ducks have been known to live to the age of twelve years, and captive birds have lived to the age of eighteen.

The Laysan Duck walks and runs well, with a pelvic girdle adapted to terrestrial foraging. Energetic foraging behavior includes a fly-snapping sprint through Neoscatella sexnotata brine fly swarms. With necks outstretched, and bills close to the ground, the ducks run along a mudflat and as clouds of flies rise up in front, snap them up by rapidly opening and closing their bills.

Laysen Teal have been classified as Decline to near-extinction.

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  • COME ALONG

    • Find out about the history of the Little Acorn Wood.
    • Learn about the regeneration of the Waterfowl Ponds.
    • Explore the Bug Trail.
  • OPENING TIMES

    Monday          9am - Dusk
    Tuesday         9am - Dusk
    Wednesday    9am - Dusk
    Thursday        9am - Dusk
    Friday             9am - Dusk
    Saturday         9am - Dusk
    Sunday           9am - Dusk
  • DIRECTIONS

    From M2 follow signs to Ballymena. At Seven Towers Roundabout, follow M2 to sign for Ecos Centre. Turn right off slip road following sign to Broughshane. Turn left at the mini roundabout in Broughshane and park in the car park on Knowhead Road.