Thursday, December 8, 2016

Brown Teal Duck

Brown Teal duck. New Zealand

Preening is done
Every feather in place
Ready for what the day brings

The BrownTeal (Anas chlorotis), or pateke, is a small dabbling duck species endemic to New Zealand distributed throughout the lowland freshwater wetlands and, historically, the Chatham Islands. The brown teal’s omnivorous diet, restricted annual range and mainly terrestrial lifestyle give it a unique ecological niche among waterfowl, somewhat akin to a wetland rodent, and it serves as a classic example of the influence of selective forces that operated on birds in pre-human New Zealand.The Brown Teal (pateke) was once widespread throughout New Zealand but is now rare and restricted to Great Barrier Island and coastal valleys of eastern Northland. The species has suffered an ongoing decline in numbers and range since the late nineteenth century. There are currently fewer than 1000 brown teal living in a wild state in New Zealand, making it New Zealand’s rarest waterfowl species on the mainland. ~ Bernard

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