Blonde Ring Teal is a special color mutation of the Ringed Teal Callonetta leucophrys. The Blonde coloration is the darkest of the mutations and is like a muted version of the original colors. Instead of the dark red across the back, the Blonde Ring Teal has an orange-salmon color. This soft salmon color looks particularly charming with the light peachy-rose spotted breast. The rest of the colors and patterns are very similar to the original Ringed Teal with beautiful slate, moss, and rose feathering set off with black speckles and the dark ring around the back of the neck. Both male and female Blonde Ring Teal have blue bills and pink legs and feet. Females are feathered in tones of browns and fawn with light markings.
Blonde Ringed Teal are very popular small ducks for hobbyists as well as serious avian collectors. They are easy to raise and do well in captivity, and we recommend them as a great starter species in wild waterfowl keeping. Teal are also very successful breeders.
Ringed Teal are compact and attractively colored, and males do not eclipse, so they remain in full colored plumage all year round.
Range: The original wild range of the Ringed Teal is the central-southern area of South America, mainly in the countries of Argentina and Paraguay, but they are also found in Bolivia, Brazil, and Uruguay.
Habitat: Blonde Ring Teal is usually found in swampy woods and marshes as well as jungles. They are perching ducks that nest and roost in trees. They mainly eat by dabbling and up-ending for aquatic plant matter.
Status in the Wild: Least Concern.
Status in Aviculture: Ringed Teal are popular in Aviculture, and unusual color mutations, such as the Blonde Ring Teal, are in high demand.
Breeding: Blonde Ring Teal form pair bonds although they do not necessarily mate for life. The male provides an entertaining courtship display and breeding of these birds is usually quite successful even in their first year. They also have a long breeding season, producing a second clutch of eggs if one set is removed early in the incubation period. Clutches are usually 5 to 10 eggs and incubation takes 23 to 25 days. Both parents share in the raising of the young.
Lifespan: A 10-15 year lifespan can be expected of the Blonde Ring Teal.
Size: Blonde Ring Teal are very small ducks, measuring 14-15 inches in body length and weighing 11 to 12 ounces.
Housing Requirements: Ideally housing should consist of a safely enclosed water source as well secluded spaces and raised wood-duck style nest boxes as Ringed Teal are perching ducks and nest in trees. These small ducks can be bullies by larger breeds, so if you are keeping a group of different ducks together, provide plenty of nest box options. Although Blonde Ring Teal are native to South America and prefer warm a climate, they are very adaptable and do fine in cooler climates. They will need some winter protection, especially in the colder areas of the U.S.
Diet: A basic commercial waterfowl diet would work fine, and providing access to a shallow pond with plant matter would be ideal.
Miscellaneous Notes: The closest relatives to the Ringed Teal are Wood Ducks and Mandarins, but they are the only species within the genus, Callonetta.