Common sight in flight

In flight, the Grey Teal's wings show off a black band with a white band both above and under the black.

Birds in our World with Keith Ireland

Of all the members of the Duck family found in Australia, probably the most common of all is the Grey Teal.

If there are ducks on a waterway, most likely a pair or a much larger group of these will be this Teal.

It is a nomadic species and if there is water somewhere, that is where they will be found.

If one place dries up, then they will head off to another one where they can stay and there is plenty of water for them.

Grey Teals are part of the group known as Dabbling Ducks which turn over water plants, wipe the seeds off other plants and finds food among the reeds around them. They also feed on insects like flies, mosquitoes, midges, as well as shrimps and other small crustaceans.

These birds will nest at any time of the year although a lot seems to depend on rainfall and whether there is a plentiful supply of water where they are. Surveys report that there are many more babies hatched during the times of floods.

Unlike many other birds that have specific types of places for nesting such as building grass or twig nests in trees, in tree hollows, in reeds or grasses and so on, the Grey Teal nests anywhere from on the ground and unwards.

Although it is known as the Grey Teal, I have seen other photos of the same species in which this bird has looked to be brown in colour. However as the illustration shows, this bird does look grey and also shows, when in flight, the wings show off a black band with a white band both above and under the black.