Facts about Webbster
Who is Webbster the Brown Teal duck?
No! we are not just like any boring brown duck. Our males are slightly larger and heavier than the females. Males average weight is 620-700g and females are 530-600g. When we are not breeding both males and female look alike. We have a distinctive whitish narrow ring around each eye, with our head, face and throat a speckled brown. During breeding our males have a colourful chestnut chest, a shiny green head and a white ring around the eye. Our females have speckled brown feathers. Our beak is our most unique feature. We have a special strong lamellae that helps us sieve through material quickly for food. Our wings are short and we often fly low to the ground with a fast wing beat. Although during moulting we lose all our wing feathers, becoming flightless. This is the time that we are most likely to attacked. The males usually speak with a muted bell-like whistle and the females with a wild growl.
Our main breeding season is from July to November. However, being unique, under suitable conditions we are able to breed in every month of the year. Our eggs are cream-tan in colour and also the largest of all teal eggs. It is equal to a massive eleven percent of the female’s weight and measuring a unique teal sized egg of 58 times 43mm. The clutch size rarely exceeds four to six eggs and the incubation period is 27 to 30 days. Baby ducklings leave mum and dad at 55 days.
My family used to live all around New Zealand. But now we can only be found in Eastern Northland from the Bay of Islands to Whanaki. More of my family live on Great Barrier Island.
During the day, we hang out in dense vegetation, beside wetlands and creeks, including forest streams. Sometimes we like to play on overhanging branches or loaf around in the banks of streams and ponds. At night we party in the wetlands and short grass paddocks with surface water.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner meals are usually insects that live in the water or the vegetation nearby. These include all aquatic ones like water boatmen, bugs, back swimmers, etc. We also eat insects that spend their larval stages in water like stoneflies, mosquitoes, black flies, gnats, midges, caddis flies, mayfiles, alderflies, dragonflies, damsel flies and lacewings. The insects in the vegetation usually include bees, wasps, beetles, ants and butterflies. We also love eating crustaceans that is fairy shrimps, clam shrimps, eater fleas, seed shrimps and cyclops. However like every meal our mummies make us eat our green vegetables as well and this includes the wetland vegetation.