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                Eurasian Teal

                Eurasian Teal

                Eurasian green-winged teal, Common teal, Teal

                Kingdom
                Phylum
                Class
                Order
                Family
                Genus
                SPECIES
                Anas crecca
                Population size
                6.6-7.7 mln
                Life Span
                27 yrs
                TOP SPEED
                70 km/h
                WEIGHT
                340-360 g
                LENGTH
                34-43 cm
                WINGSPAN
                53-59 cm

                The Eurasian teal is a common and widespread duck which breeds in Eurasia and migrates south in winter. It is often called simply the teal due to being the only one of these small dabbling ducks in much of its range. The bird gives its name to the blue-green color teal.

                Distribution

                Eurasian teal breed across the Palearctic and mostly winter well south of their breeding range. However, in the milder climate of temperate Europe, the summer and winter ranges overlap. These ducks are commonly found in sheltered wetlands with dense fringing vegetation, such as taiga bogs or small lakes and ponds with extensive reedbeds. In winter, they are often seen in brackish waters and even in sheltered inlets and lagoons along the seashore.

                Eurasian Teal habitat map

                Climate zones

                Habits and Lifestyle

                Eurasian teal are highly gregarious ducks outside the breeding season and can form large flocks. In flight, the fast, twisting flocks resemble waders. Despite their short legs, Eurasian teal are also rather nimble on the ground by ducks' standards. Diurnal throughout the breeding season, in winter they are often crepuscular or even nocturnal feeders. They usually feed by dabbling, upending, or grazing; they may submerge their head and on occasion even dive to reach food. Eurasian teal are quite noisy. The males whistle 'cryc' or 'creelycc', not loud but very clear and far-carrying. The females have a feeble 'keh' or 'neeh' quack.

                Seasonal behavior

                Diet and Nutrition

                Eurasian teal are herbivores (granivores) and carnivores (insectivores). In the breeding season, they eat mainly aquatic invertebrates, such as crustaceans, insects and their larvae, mollusks and worms. In winter, they shift to a largely granivorous diet, feeding on seeds of aquatic plants and grasses, including sedges and grains.

                Mating Habits

                MATING BEHAVIOR
                REPRODUCTION SEASON
                starts in spring
                INCUBATION PERIOD
                21-23 days
                INDEPENDENT AGE
                25-30 days
                FEMALE NAME
                duck
                MALE NAME
                drake
                BABY NAME
                duckling
                BABY CARRYING
                5-16 eggs

                Eurasian teal are serially monogamous and form pair bonds that last only during one breeding season. Pairs form in the winter quarters and arrive on the breeding grounds together, starting about March. The breeding starts some weeks thereafter, not until May in the most northernly locations. The birds nest on the ground, near water and undercover. The nest is a deep hollow lined with dry leaves and down feathers, built in dense vegetation near water. After the females have started laying, the males leave them and move away for shorter or longer distances, assembling in flocks on particular lakes where they molt into eclipse plumage; they will usually encounter their offspring only in winter quarters. The clutch may consist of 5-16 eggs, but usually numbers 8-11; they are incubated for 21-23 days. The ducklings leave the nest soon after hatching and are attended by the mother for about 25-30 days, after which they fledge. The males and the females with young generally move to the winter quarters separately. After the first winter, the young molt into adult plumage.

                Population

                Population threats

                Eurasian teal are threatened by habitat loss mainly due to drainage and pollution of wetlands. They are also often hunted in the wintering areas and suffer from human disturbance.

                Population number

                According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of the Eurasian teal is 6,600,000-7,700,000 individuals. The European population consists of 557,000-915,000 pairs, which equates to 1,110,000-1,830,000 mature individuals. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.

                Fun Facts for Kids

                • The Eurasian teal belongs to the "true" teal, a group of small dabbling ducks closely related to the mallard and its relatives; that latter group in fact seems to have evolved from a true teal.
                • The scientific name of the Eurasian teal is from Latin Anas, "duck" and kricka, the Swedish name for this species that refers to the male's characteristic call. The scientific name of this bird, therefore, translates as "duck that makes cryc"; common names like the Bokm?l krikkand, Danish krikand and German Krickente mean the same.
                • Eurasian teal ducklings are colored much like females but have a stronger pattern. The downy ducklings are colored like in other dabbling ducks: brown above and yellow below, with a yellow supercilium. They are recognizable by their tiny size, however, weighing just 15 g (0.53 oz) at hatching.
                • The bill of a male Eurasian teal is dark grey, in eclipse plumage often with some light greenish or brownish hue at the base. The bill of females and immatures is pinkish or yellowish at the base, becoming dark grey towards the tip; the grey then expands basewards as the birds age.
                • Male Eurasian teal in nuptial plumage are distinguished from Green-winged teal by the horizontal white scapular stripe, the lack of a vertical white bar at the breast sides, and the quite conspicuous light outlines of the face patch, which are indistinct in the Green-winged teal drake. Males in eclipse plumage, females and immatures are best recognized by their small size, calls, and the speculum; they are hard to tell apart from the Green-winged teal, however.

                References

                1. Eurasian Teal on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_teal
                2. Eurasian Teal on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22729717/155455470

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