Eurasian Teal Duck
The Eurasian Teal Duck is a highly gregarious duck outside the breeding season and can form large flocks. It is commonly found in sheltered wetlands and feeds on seeds and aquatic invertebrates. The Eurasian teal breeds across northern Eurasia and mostly winters well south of its breeding range. However, in the milder climate of temperate Europe, the summer and winter ranges overlap. For example, in the United Kingdom and Ireland a small summer population breeds, but far greater numbers of Siberian birds arrive in winter. In the Caucasus region, western Asia Minor, along the northern shores of the Black Sea, and even on the south coast of Iceland and on the Vestmannaeyjar, the species can be encountered all year, too.
Male – The male Eurasian Teal Duck has a bright chestnut head and neck, a wide metallic dark green stripe running from the front of the eye to the neck which is bordered with white, the white border extends to the base of the beak, the flanks and mantle are vermiculated with pale grey and black, metallic green speculum bordered by white, upper breast is pale cream with dark spots, under-parts are white with slight barring on abdomen and vent, dark-grey beak, and legs and feet are grey. The Green-winged Teal is very similar to the Common (Eurasian) Teal but differs by having a vertical white stripe on the side of the breast, and a much less defined white border around the green stripe on the face.
Female – The female Eurasian Teal Duck has a sandy brown plumage streaked with dark brown.
Eclipse – The male Eurasian Teal Duck in eclipse plumage is similar to the female but is more uniform in color and with a dark head and vestigial facial markings.
Size: – Typical Adult is 13-17 inches.
Food: – Aquatic plants, seeds, insects, larvae, molluscs, crustaceans, and some grain.
Habitat: – Wetlands, marshes, lakes, and ponds in northern Europe, and Asia. Winters further south in southern Europe, and southern Asia.
Breeding Season: – Late April to May.
Eggs: – 8 to 12 (pale cream or olive-buff color).
Notes: – The Eurasian Teal Duck or Common Teal is the smallest European dabbling duck. It looks very similar to the North American Green-winged Teal and it has yet to be decided whether to treat them both as one species or class them as two separate species.
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.