Wednesday, March 11

Eurasian teal

   ›      ›   Eurasian teal - Anas crecca.

The Eurasian teal or common teal (Anas crecca) belongs to the family Anatidae. The Eurasian teal breeding population is distributed in temperate European and Asian regions. In the winter these teal species migrate to warmer southern Asia, Africa and North American coasts.

Taxonomy

  • Scientific Name: Anas crecca
  • Common Name: Eurasian teal
  • French: Sarcelle d’hiver; German: Krickente; Spanish: Cerceta comĂșn;
  • Other names: common teal or Green-winged Teal (subspecies)
  • Family: Anatidae › Anseriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: Linnaeus, 1758
There are two recognized Eurasian teal subspecies. The subspecies, A. c. crecca Linnaeus, 1758, breed in temperate European and Asian region, and winter in southern Europe, southern Asia and Africa. The subspecies, A. c. carolinensis J. F. Gmelin, 1789, breed in Arctic zone and winter in Canada, USA, Mexico and West Indies.

Indian birds - Eurasian teal - Anas crecca
Indian birds - Eurasian teal - Anas crecca

Description

The Eurasian teal is a small dabbling duck, males measuring 35 to 40 cm in length and weighing 250 to 450 grams. The wingspan is 58 to 64 cm. The female birds are smaller and weigh 200 to 400 grams. The male teals are very colorful in their breeding plumage. The body is pale grey. There is finely lined darker striations on the underside. The head is dark brick red with broad blue-green eye stripes lined with cream color. The chest patch is cream with fine black spots. The tail is black and white patterned and a yellow patch can be noticed.

Habitat

The Eurasian teal inhabit small lakes, lagoons, pools, slow flowing streams and marshes with abundant fringe vegetation. Wintering birds may be seen along the coast in brackish or saline lagoons, estuarine waters and sheltered coastal bays.

Feeding habits

The Eurasian teal species feed on aquatic plants, grasses, grain and cereals. The breeding birds may prefer molluscs, worms, fish fry, insects and crustaceans.

Breeding

The Eurasian teal breed during summer months (March-May) and egg laying commencing during April. For breeding they prefer shallow marshes with abundant emergent vegetation. They nest on the hollow in the ground hidden among vegetation.

Distribution

The Eurasian teal breeding population is distributed in temperate Eurasian regions. In the winter these teal species migrate to warmer Mediterranean, southern Asia, Africa and North American coasts.

Movement Patterns

The northern breeding Eurasian teal populations are highly migratory. The populations in the temperate regions tend to be sedentary and may disperse locally. Post breeding, the migratory populations move southwards, the peak migration occurring between October and November. These birds return for breeding from February onwards and the peek migration occurring in March and April months.

Status and conservation

The Eurasian teal species have very large range and stable populations. Hence they may not be vulnerable in the near future. Conservation of the breeding and feeding grounds can help in continuation of population stability. The immediate threats are, hunting, lowland habitat loss and degradation, afforestation and land-use changes.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these teal species and has listed them as of "Least Concern".

Biological classification of Anas crecca
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Anseriformes
Family:Anatidae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Anas
Species:A. crecca
Binomial name:Anas crecca
Distribution:temperate Eurasian regions, Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Africa, coastal north America;
Feeding habits:aquatic plants, grasses, grains and cereals;
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern

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Image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Common_Teal_Male_(8602525826).jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kkoshy/8602525826/
Author: Koshy Koshy | License: CC BY 2.0
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