The male Chestnut Teal, in breeding plumage, is very colourful with a chestnut body and distinctive dark green glossy head that reflects the sunlight. They also have a black undertail with a contrasting white patch. The female is a mottled dark and light brown.
Chestnut Teals generally form monogamous pairs that stay together inside and outside breeding seasons. Large flocks may form in the non-breeding season, generally from December to April. They feed on seeds, vegetation, molluscs and crustaceans, some of which they collect by poking around with their bill under the water.