Versicolor Teal - Anas v. versicolor

In the wild there are two races of Versicolor Teal, versicolor and fratensis and they can be found over much of the southern third of South America. The two races are very similar but versicolor is significantly smaller. Unfortunately while both races have been available to aviculture over time there has been interbreeding between the two races and I think it would be very difficult to find pure examples of either race in Europe. This said the Versicolor available are delightful, they are small, become very confiding, and are very hardy and they also have no eclipse plumage. The versicolor also sports an impressive powder blue bill but with the addition of a yellow / orange spot on either side at the base. Clearly the Versicolor is quite closely related to the Puna Teal but they are very much more dynamic and are in general much easier to keep.

Versicolor can certainly breed in their first year but very often do not breed until they are two, it is unusual for them to chose a natural nest site in cover, they certainly prefer a nest-box but they are not overly exacting on the design or location being happy to use ground boxes and raised boxes. The clutch consists of six to ten creamy pink eggs that take about 25 days to hatch and again the breeding season can be quite extended from February through to September. Some Versicolor Teal pairs will moult their primary feathers in late Spring and as soon as these have been re-grown they will almost certainly start breeding. Fertility can sometimes be a problem, with most Teal it is unusual to get any infertile eggs in a clutch but with Versicolor you can regularly have only one or two eggs fertile in a clutch. Assuming the eggs are fertile they are usually easy to hatch and the young are very easy to rear on chick or waterfowl crumbs and they need no special treatment and grow quite quickly.

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Versicolor Teal

Norfolk Wildfowl

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