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< >  Anas formosa - Baikal teal (Click photographs/illustrations: full picture & further details)
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General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

Spectacled teal
Formosa teal
Clucking teal
Gluckente (German)
Sarcelle élégante (French)
Sarcelle formose (French)
Cerceta del Baikal (Spanish)
Nettion formosa

Names for newly-hatched

Duckling, downy.

Names for non-breeding males or other colour-phases




Species Author

Debra Bourne

Major References

B1, B3, B5, B8, B19, B25, B26.

Aviculture references:
B7, B29, B30, B31, B40, B97, B94, B128.w1, B128.w2)
D1, D8

Other References

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TAXA Group (where information has been collated for an entire group on a modular basis)

Parent Group

Specific Needs Group referenced in Management Techniques


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Aviculture Information


General Information:
  • Dabbling Ducks are generally hardy, easy to maintain and easy to breed. Shelter may be required by some of the smaller species in winter. They should be provided with cover (including marginal pond cover) and loafing areas as well as water. A pen which is 50% water is suggested. The water may be shallow (i.e. no more than two feet deep is required), and muddy areas for dabbling in are also appreciated. These ducks are generally good in mixed collections, although the smaller and quieter species may be bullied. Territorial disputes between ducks of the same species may be avoided by keeping only one pair of each species in an enclosure, unless the area is very large. For a single pair of ducks a pen are of 50 to 100 square metres, depending on the size of duck, should be provided.
  • A diet based on wheat and pellets is suggested, with maintenance pellets changed to breeders pellets for the breeding season. Bread and greenfood are also appreciated. Grit should always be available, with soluble grit (e.g. oystershell grit) as a calcium source when breeding.
  • Most species are ground nesters and both close ground cover and ground level nest boxes should be provided. Hand-rearing is generally preferred, as these ducks are generally poor parents in captive conditions, particularly in enclosures shared with other waterfowl. These ducks are prone to hybridization, particularly with closely related species, which should be kept apart from one another.

(B7, B29, B30, B40, B94, B128.w1, D1)

Species-specific information:

  • Baikal teal are hardy, quiet and peaceable, suitable for mixed collections with plentiful natural cover; they may be fed as other dabbling ducks - pellets, grain, bread, green food.
  • These ducks are rarely bred in captivity. Eggs are laid April to May, in natural vegetation cover near water or in a ground-level nest box. Ducklings may be reared reared with no particular problems. 
  • Hybrids have been recorded with other Anas species and with Netta rufina - Red-crested pochard; these usually involve drakes, but duck recorded breeding with Anas versicolor - Silver teal drake. drake.

(B29, B30, B31, B40, B97, B128.w2)

Aviornis UK Ringing Scheme recommended average ring size: H 8.0mm (D8).

Management Techniques

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External Appearance (Morphology)

Measurement & Weight

Length 16 inches, 40cm (B3); 39-43cm (B1)
Adult weight General 360-520g (B1).
Male 360-520g, average 437g (B3); mean 15.4 ounces (B8).
Female 402-505g, average 431g (B3); mean 15.2 ounces (B8).
Newly-hatched weight --
Growth rate --

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Adult Bill Male Dark grey (B8, B25, B26).
Variations (If present) --
Eyes (Iris) Male Brown (B8, B25, B26).
Variations(If present) --
Juvenile Bill Dark grey (B25).
Eyes (Iris) Brown (B25).

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Adult Male Grey or yellowish-grey, webs darker (B3, B8, B25, B26).
Variations (If present) --
Juvenile Grey or yellowish-grey, webs darker (B3, B25).

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Adult Male Head and neck colourful, cream, black and green: crown, hind-neck, throat black; black line from eye down to throat divides creamy buff face with metallic green crescent caudal to this from eye down sides of neck; white line dividing black crown from green crescent, meeting at nape and continuing to throat.

Breast pinkish buff spotted with black,blending into grey sides of breasts and flanks grey with white vertical line down side of breast and white line separating flanks from undertail coverts black. Abdomen white. Tail brown with paler edges, uppertail coverts black. Upperparts brownish; scapulars and tertials long, cinnamon/cream/black. Wings brown/dark grey with greater coverts cinnamon tipped, secondaries metallic green/black with white tips (B3, B5, B8, B25, B26).

Variations (If present) Female:- crown and nape dark brown, face buff with darker speckles, round white spot at base of bill, chin and throat white, with white line extending up from throat to eye. Dark line from eye to nape with reddish streak above this. Upperparts dark brown, breast and flanks dark brown with darker feather centres, abdomen and undertail coverts white, wings similar to male (B3, B5, B8, B25, B26).

Eclipse:- Similar to female, but with less obvious facial pattern; may have long cream scapulars (B3, B5, B25).

Juvenile Similar to female, duller, lacks white patch near bill, underparts brown spotted/streaked (B1, B3, B5, B25)

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Newly-hatched Characteristics

General: Upperparts dark brown with yellow markings, underparts including face yellow, dark eyestripe (B1, B5, B26).
Bill: Dark grey (B5).
Feet: Dark grey (B5).

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Reproductive Season

Time of year Begins May (B1); end of April to June (B5); mid May to mid July (B25); May to July (B3).
No. of Clutches --

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Nest placement and structure

On dry ground near water, concealed in vegetation such as grass, shrubs or willows (B1, B5, B25, B26).

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Egg clutches

No. of Eggs Average --
Range 6-9 (B1, B8)
Egg Description Pale greenish (B3, B8); size: 48x35mm; weight: 31g (B3).

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24-25 days (B1, B8).

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45-55 days (B8).

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Sexual Maturity

Males Presumed one year old (Anas standard).
Females Presumed one year old (Anas standard).

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Feeding Behaviour

Adults Dabble at water surface, also head-dip and upend, and feed on land, including in grain fields in winter, and even utilising spilt crops on roads (B1, B5, B8, B25)
Newly-hatched --

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Parental Behaviour

Nest-building Solitary or in loose groups, built by female (B1, B8).
Incubation By female; male departs prior to hatching (B8).
Newly-hatched --


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Social Behaviour

Intra-specific Highly gregarious, form large flocks in winter. Males gather to moult at sites near breeding grounds (B3, B8, B25).
Inter-specific Often mix with other species (B25).

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Sexual Behaviour

Pairs form on wintering areas. Males leave mates before eggs hatch (B8).

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Predation in Wild


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Activity Patterns

Rearmost birds in foraging flocks 'leapfrog' to front (B8).
Circadian Mainly nocturnal foragers (B8).

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Natural Diet


Seeds, leaves and stems of grasses, sedges, aquatic plants, also crops (e.g. rice, soya beans) and eats acorns. Also small aquatic invertebrates such as snails and insects (B1, B3, B5, B8, B26).

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Range and Habitat

Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)


North, central Siberia, south to Lake Baikal and Sea of Okhotsk. Winters migrates south to India, Burma, eastern China, south Japan, Greater Antilles, Bahamas (B1, B19).

Occasional and Accidental

Some further west to north-eastern India (B1).

Vagrants may possibly reach e.g. Britain, Spain, Pacific coast of North America, but birds seen in such places are more probably escapees (B1).



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Pools, marshes, small lakes and rivers, in wooded areas and in tundra. In winter, shallow fresh water areas, marshes and sheltered coasts (B1, B3, B8, B19, B25, B26)

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Intraspecific variation


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Conservation Status

Wild Population -

Marked decline, particularly dramatic in the 1970's (B1, B8).

CITES listing --
Red-data book listing Vulnerable
Threats Habitat loss, hunting, collisions with overhead power lines, disturbance by fishermen and poachers (B1, B8).

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Captive Populations

Firmly established in collections (B8).

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