Baikal teal

   ›      ›   Baikal teal - Sibirionetta formosa.

The Baikal teal (Sibirionetta formosa) belongs to the duck family, Anatidae.

The Baikal teal breeds in eastern Siberia and winters in East Asia and occasionally in Indian Subcontinent.


  • Scientific Name: Sibirionetta formosa
  • Common Name: Baikal teal
  • French: Sarcelle élégante; German: Gluckente; Spanish: Cerceta del Baikal;
  • Other names: Anas formosa, bimaculate duck, squawk duck or dabbling duck;
  • Family: Anatidae › Anseriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: Georgi, 1775
Earlier the Baikal teal was considered as a species of the genus Anas. As it has no close relatives among living ducks it was later placed in a separate genus, Sibirionetta (del Hoyo and Collar 2014).


The Baikal teal (Sibirionetta formosa) is a small dabbling duck with striking head pattern. The male bird measures 39 to 43 cm in length and weighs 360 to 520 grams. The female weighs 400 to 500 grams.

The male Baikal teal has a distinct patches of brown, green, white and black pattern on the head. The head of the male bird is larger than the female. The breast of the male bird is pinkish with dark spots.

The flanks are grey and the undertail-coverts are black. The shoulder feathers of these teal species are long with streaks of chestnut-red, black and white. Females and juveniles have plainer plumage.

Teal males make deep, chuckling wot-wot-wot and the females utter a low quack.
Indian birds - Baikal teal - Sibirionetta formosa
Indian birds - Baikal teal - Sibirionetta formosa


The Baikal teal are found in the rivers, lakes, ponds and marshes close to woodlands. They were observed feeding on farm lands.

Feeding habits

These teal species feed on seeds, grains, leaves, stems, grasses, aquatic plants, snail and crops.


These teal species arrive at the breeding grounds in April-May and start laying at the end of May south of Arctic Circle. They nest near water in open tussock meadows and mossy bogs.


The Baikal teal species are migratory birds. They breed in Eastern Siberia, Russia. They pass through Mongolia and North Korea to winter in Japan, South Korea and mainland China.

These teal species are rare winter visitors to Indian Subcontinent, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Movement Patterns

The Baikal teal move southwards towards wintering grounds from September, peaking through October and November. They return back to the breeding grounds in mid March/early April onwards.

Status and conservation

Considering the decline in the population of Baikal teal before 2011, they were classified as Vulnerable. The rapid and consistent increase in their numbers accompanied by increases in the species's range are very positive trends. However hunting and loss of habitats are the persisting threatening factors for these teal species.

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 Sibirionetta formosa
Species:S. formosa
Binomial name:Sibirionetta formosa
Distribution:east and north Asia and rarely in Indian Subcontinent;
Feeding habits:seeds, grasses, aquatic plants and snails;
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern

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Image source:
Author: Tony Hisgett | License: CC BY 2.0
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