Baikal Teal Duck
The Baikal Teal Duck breeds within the forest zone of eastern Siberia from the Yenisey basin eastwards to Kamchatka, northern Koryak, eastern Magadan Oblast, northern Khabarovsk Krai, southeastern and northern Sakha east central Irkutsk Oblast, and northern Krasnoyarsk Krai. It is a migratory species, wintering in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, northern and eastern China, from Beijing down the coast to the Vietnam border, and west to Yunnan then north to Chongqing and Henan.
Male – The male Baikal Teal duck has a distinctive head with a dark crown bordered by a white stripe, creamy buff face, with a green iridescent patch on the sides of the head, black chin, and a thin black stripe from the chin to the eye. The breast is light brown or pinkish with dark spots, bluish-grey flanks, whitish under-sides, black elongated scapulars, dark grey beak and yellow-grey legs.
Female – The female Baikal Teal duck is mainly brown with a dark brown crown, a distinctive white spot at the base of the beak, dark stripes from the eye to the nape, and a white throat.
Eclipse – The male Baikal Teal in eclipse plumage is similar to the female and also has a white spot at the base of the beak but has a thin dark stripe from the chin to the eye, and a pinkish-white breast with dark spots.
Size: – Typical Adult is 15-17 inches.
Food: – Mainly seeds and small aquatic invertebrates, rice, and soya beans.
Habitat: – Pools, swampy forests, and lowland fresh waters in eastern Siberia, and wintering in south Japan, south-east China, and south Korea.
Breeding Season: – Late April to early July.
Eggs: – 8 to 10 (pale olive-green color).
Notes: – The Baikal Teal duck is also called the Bimaculate Duck or Squawk Duck and is a dabbling duck. It is slightly larger than the Common Teal, and is a dabbling duck. The name ‘Baikal’ comes from the world’s deepest lake in Siberia.
The different types of wild ducks can be grouped into puddle, aka “dabbling” and diving ducks. The dabblers mostly feed in smaller bodies of shallow water or along shorelines, where they are able to tip their bodies forward to reach their food on the bottom. There are divers who feed in deeper water where they dive and pursue their quarry. Some of these birds, the Harlequin Duck for example, actually dives to the bottom of fast-flowing waters and feeds on life forms attached to rocks.