Brown Teal Flock Sites

Brown teal are a gregarious bird which assemble annually at their traditional flock site to form relatively large flocks. Historically the flock site would have been at an expanse of fresh water – a large pond, lagoon or lake – not too far from the birds breeding territory. Today what few flock sites remain are in estuarine habitat, at the confluence of tidal creeks and the sea.

There is still much to learn about the use of flock sites by Brown Teal and in addition to eliminating predators it is believed that the flock sites may play and an intrinsic and critical role in the very survival of Brown Teal. It is therefore essential that Brown Teal flock sites are legally protected, protected from human involvement, where possible the habitat is enhanced and each flock site must have an intensive predator control programme in operation for an indefinite period of time. This is not only essential for paired birds but also for juvenile and non-breeding birds which often remain at the flock site – after it has been vacated by the potential breeding pairs.

The breeding habitat adjacent to flock sites must also be protected from predators, and where possible the habitat enhanced to support more breeding pairs; together with habitat being created for Brown Teal, along the lines of what has happened at the Mimiwhangata Farm Park, near Whangarei, where freshwater lagoons and swamps have been specifically created for Brown Teal.