The Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca) is a freshwater dabbling duck, and a freshwater wetlands bird. It is also called the Common Teal.
The Eurasian Teal is named after its blue-green colour, called teal. The male has a chestnut-coloured head and upper neck, with a wide iridescent dark-green patch near its eyes. The patch is bordered with thin yellowish-white lines. It has a buff-coloured chest with small, round, brown spots. The centre of its belly is white. Its tail is black with a bright yellowish patch.
The female is yellowish-brown, and darker on its wings and back, with a dark grey-brown upper head. The male has a dark-grey beak, whereas the female has a pinkish or yellowish beak, that is darker at the tip. It has short legs. The male has dark-grey feet, whereas the female has grey-olive feet. It has brown eyes.
It measures about 20-30 centimetres (8-12 inches) in length. It has a wingspan of 53-59 centimetres (21-23 inches). Its beak measures 3-4 centimetres (1-1.5 inches) long.
The Eurasian Teal is native to Europe and Asia. It is a migratory bird, flying south to warmer weather in winter, to countries such as India and northern Africa. In the Caucasus region, in countries such as Georgia, it does not migrate. It prefers wetlands, such as ponds, lakes, bogs, rivers, and streams.
It feeds on seeds and aquatic insects. It submerges its head in the water to reach its food.
During the breeding season, it is diurnal, active during the day, and in winter it is crepuscular, active mainly at dawn and dusk.
It is seen in large flocks.
Males are called drakes and females are called hens. Hens nests on the ground, near water. The nest is a deep hollow lined with dry leaves and soft down feathers. The female lays 8-11 eggs, which hatch after 21-23 days. The chicks leave the nest soon after hatching and their mother looks after them for about 25–30 days, after which time they are independent.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM