Grey teal welcome next generation
The grey teal recently had four babies and they are quite easily seen. Four is a good number of babies, but they can have up to 14. Their nests are built in tree hollows or on the ground and consist of decaying wood or leaf litter scraped up to form a bowl.
The ducklings leave the nest soon after hatching. If the nest is in a tree the babies have to jump to the ground – they can’t fly yet. That’s one reason why it is good to have vegetation and leaf litter under trees. It gives the ducklings a softer landing than concrete.
On our lake, grey teal are most easily confused with Pacific black ducks. Grey teal are smaller than Pacific black ducks and lack the black stripe through the eye. They also have a different call and behaviour.
There are other waterbirds with babies at the moment. The purple swamphen and Eurasian coots have young while the black-winged stilts are sitting on nests. Take your binoculars with you next time you visit and see how many babies you can find.