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Grey Teal

(Anas gracilis)
Alternate name(s): "Wood Teal", "Slender Teal"
Aboriginal name(s): "buuway" [yuwaalaraay]; "kalyong" (WA)

Size: 42-45 cm
Weight: 350-670 g

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Grey Teal at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range


Click here for sighting information



Sex unknown

Close-up near-frontal view of Grey Teals
[Gwydir River, Bingara, NSW, April 2019]

Close-up near-lateral view of a pair of Grey Teals (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Centennial Park, Sydney, NSW, April 2014]

Close-up lateral view of an adult Grey Teal displaying its speculum (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Whittaker's Lagoon, near Moree, NSW, November 2013]

Lateral view of a Grey Teal
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, November 2010]

Lateral view of a Grey Teal with its head feathers erect, possibly indicating a posture in defense of its chicks
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, November 2010]

Lateral view of two Grey Teals at an irrigation dam
[Harparary, NSW, April 2013]

Grey Teals resting by a fresh water lake (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Dowse Lagoon, Sandgate, Brisbane, QLD, August 2017]

Grey Teals on a tree trunk (photo courtesy of R. Druce)

Lateral view of two Grey Teals
[Gwydir River, Bingara, NSW, April 2019]

Grey Teals feeding and resting in shallow water
[Gwydir River, Bingara, NSW, April 2019]

Lateral view of Grey Teals in flight (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Leaning Tree Lagoon, NT, July 2019]

Grey Teals in flight seen from underneath
[Whittaker's Lagoon near Moree, NSW, August 2012]

Ventral view of Grey Teals in in a mixed flock with Pink-eared Ducks
[Burren Junction, NSW, January 2016]


Lateral view of a juvenile Grey Teal
[Narrabri Lake,NSW, January 2016]

Grey Teal with conspicuously light plumage, possibly a juvenile moulting into its adult plumage
[Goran Lake, NSW, April 2011]

Grey Teal with four of its seven chicks
[Near Walgett, NSW, April 2009]

Close-up view of three Grey Teal chicks
[Near Walgett, NSW, April 2009]

Grey Teal family on a lake
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, November 2010]

This family of Grey Teals was seen 6 weeks after a major inland rainfall event
[Yarrie Lake, near Wee Waa, NSW, August 2012]

Very young Grey Teal chick on an artifical dam
[Burren Junction Bore Bath, NSW, December 2015]


Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Nomadic/dispersive Elementary unit: Pair/large flock


Like other duck species, Grey Teals are sociable birds that, when not breeding, like to congregate in large numbers.

Small section of a huge composite photo (49790x2650 pixels) of about 1500 resting Grey Teals; the original photo permits identification of basically every single bird and shows that the white spots visible in the background of the larger photo are Red-necked Avocets
[Goran Lake, NSW, June 2011]

Part of the huge flock of Grey Teals (above) resettling just 100 m further on
[Goran Lake, NSW, June 2011]

Grey Teals like very shallow water
[Narrabri, NSW, June 2015]

Grey Teals sifting through shallow water ("dabbling")
[Near Narrabri, NSW, July 2010]

Grey Teals are often seen together with other ducks, in particular Australian Wood Ducks, but also with Pink-eared Ducks.

Group photo of several species of water birds - a pair of Australian Wood Ducks (centre), Grey Teals (left and right) and Australasian Grebes (the two smaller birds)
[Near Narrabri, NSW, August 2007]

Group photo of several species of aquatic birds - a pair of Australian Wood Ducks (far left), a family of Grey Teals (centre) and a pair of Australasian Grebes (front)
[Near Narrabri, NSW, August 2007]

Food, Diet

Grey Teal "dabbling", i.e. feeding on plant material at the water surface
[Gum Swamp, Warren, NSW, December 2016]

Lateral view of a pair of Grey Teals feeding
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, October 2010]

Grey Teal upending to feed on underwater plants (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Dowse Lagoon, Sandgate, Brisbane, QLD, August 2017]


For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

grteal_20200229.m4a (NW NSW) Contact calls(?) © MD
grteal_20160727_2.mp3 (NW NSW) Q&A © MD
grteal_20200301.m4a (NW NSW) Alarm calls + contact calls © MD
grteal_20200718.m4a (NW NSW) Pre-dawn; getting restless? © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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