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< >  Anas crecca - Common teal (Click photographs/illustrations: full picture & further details)
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INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL & REFERENCES

EXTERNAL APPEARANCES

REPRODUCTION

BEHAVIOUR

NATURAL DIET

RANGE & HABITAT

CONSERVATION

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General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

Teal
Greenwing
Eurasian teal (Anas crecca crecca)
Eurasian green-winged teal (Anas crecca crecca)
Aleutian green-winged teal (Anas crecca nimia)
Green-winged teal (Anas crecca carolinensis)
American green-winged teal (Anas crecca carolinensis)
Querquedula crecca
Querquedula carolinensis
- Green-winged teal

Names for newly-hatched

Duckling, downy.

Names for non-breeding males or other colour-phases

Eclipse

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References

Species Author

Debra Bourne

Major References

B1, B2, B3, B5, B8, B19, B25, B26, B27.

Other references:
B138

Aviculture references:
B7, B29, B30, B31, B40, B94, B95, B96, B97, B108, B128.w2, B129)
D1, D8B128.w1

ORGANISATIONS
(UK Contacts)

ELECTRONIC LIBRARY
(Further Reading)
Click image for full contents list of ELECTRONIC LIBRARY

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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

Notes

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:

  • Common teal are generally hardy, but shelter from frost should be available. They are easy to manage, but tend to be secretive (particularly Anas crecca crecca). Lakes with ample shoreline vegetation and dense low ground cover are preferred; breeding is most likely if they are kept in a separate pen without competition from other species. Males may fight if too many kept in one enclosure, and may also pursue females excessively, sometimes even to the point of drowning them (Drowning). Feed as other dabbling ducks: pellets, grain, green food, bread.
  • These ducks are necessarily easy to breed: American green-winged teal Anas crecca carolinensis may breed more readily than the European common teal Anas crecca crecca. They usually nest under low ground cover, not always very close to water, but may use ground-level nest boxes, laying in April to May, and will hatch and rear if undisturbed, although removing the eggs may be safer. A second clutch may be laid if the first eggs are removed. Hand-rearing is not difficult, or they may be bantam hatched and reared. Ducklings must be kept warm and dry initially, but are not difficult to rear once they have started feeding
  • Hybridisation with Anas discors - Blue-winged teal and other Anas species has been reported.

(B29, B30, B31, B40, B94, B95, B96, B97, B108, B128, B129)

Aviornis UK Ringing Scheme recommended average ring size: G 7.0mm (D8).

Individual Techniques linked in Wildpro

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External Appearance (Morphology)

Measurement & Weight

Length 13-16 inches, 38-43cm (B3); 34-43cm (B1).
Adult weight General Average 340-360g (B1).
Male Average 360g (B3)
Female Average 340g (B3)
Newly-hatched weight --
Growth rate --

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Head

Adult Bill Male Black.
Variations (If present) Female: Grey.
Eyes (Iris) Male Brown.
Variations(If present) --
Juvenile Bill Grey.
Eyes (Iris) Brown.

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Legs

Adult Male Grey.
Variations (If present) --
Juvenile Grey.

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Plumage

Adult Male
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Head and neck bright chestnut, with metallic green patch around eye and extending caudally along neck, edged with creamy yellow line extending to bill, also black chin, short black crest. Breast pale pinkish brown with black spots, abdomen white. Upperparts and flanks vermiculated grey-brown and white. Black and white outer scapulars form distinct horizontal line above flank. Tail grey, undertail coverts creamy-yellow/buff, surrounded by black.

Wing has primaries dark grey-brown, coverts grey, with greater coverts buff-tipped and secondaries iridescent green with white tips. Speculum iridescent green with buff front border and white rear border.

Variations (If present)
Anas_crecca_Female_Illust_RH.gif (29025 bytes)
Anas crecca carolinensis: pale line around green patch on head is indistinct, scapulars basically black so no white horizontal line, but vertical white line conspicuous on sides of breast.

Female: head and neck pale buff-brown with darker crown and hindneck, eyeline and streaking. Breast, abdomen and ventral region buff-brown with darker spotting, plain buff on sides of tail, and central abdomen whitish. with darker streaks. Upperparts dark brown with paler feather edges and bases. Wing similar to male but browner.

Eclipse: Similar to female, but upperparts darker and eye-stripe less distinct.

Juvenile Similar to female but abdomen spotted.

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Newly-hatched Characteristics

General: Upperparts dark brown with yellow markings, underparts yellow, dark eyeline and second line below this.
Bill: Dark grey
Feet: Dark grey.

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Reproduction

Reproductive Season

Time of year Begins March-May.
No. of Clutches One; re-nest if clutch lost.

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Nest placement and structure

On the ground in dense vegetation, a deep hollow lined with dry leaves and down.

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Egg clutches

No. of Eggs Average 8-11 (B1).
Range 5-16 (B1); 8-11 (B8).
Egg Description Cream, yellow-white or pale olive-buff.

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Incubation

21-23 days (B1, B8).

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Hatching

Synchronous.

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Fledging

25-30 days (B1); perhaps 25-44 days, mean 40 days (B8).

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Sexual Maturity

Males About one year old.
Females About one year old.

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Behaviour

Feeding Behaviour

Adults Dabble, head-dip, up-end and dive in shallows, also mud-filter.
Newly-hatched --

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Parental Behaviour

Nest-building Solitary nests or in loose groups. Nest built by female only.
Incubation By female only.
Newly-hatched Tended by female only.
Juveniles

Independent from about one month old.

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Social Behaviour

Intra-specific Gregarious outside breeding season, usually forming groups of perhaps 30-40 birds.
Inter-specific --

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Sexual Behaviour

Seasonal pair bond, but males promiscuous.

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Predation in Wild

--

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Activity Patterns

--
Circadian Mainly nocturnal feeding.

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Natural Diet

Adults

Spring and summer aquatic invertebrates are important (insects, crustaceans, worms, molluscs); in winter more seeds of aquatic plants, grasses and sedges, plus grain.

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Newly-hatched

--

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Range and Habitat

Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

Normal Anas crecca crecca Across northern and central Palearctic.
Anas crecca nimia Aleutian Islands.
Anas crecca carolinensis most of Nearctic.

London: In the London Area, "common winter visitor and rare breeder." Several hundred in winter at sites such as Beddington sewage farm and the Thames Barrier; more than 100 on the Thames in the Barnes/Putney area in February 2000. In Inner London, one seen at Regents Park in September 2000. (J322.65.w1)

Northern populations migrate south to lower latitudes, reaching the equator (Kenya); temperate populations are sedentary.

Occasional and Accidental

Anas crecca crecca to Jan Mayen Island, Bear Island, Spitsbergen, Cape Verde Islands.
A c. carolinensis to Britain, Ireland, and rarely the Netherlands, Belgium and Morocco.

Introduced

--

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Habitat

Small fresh-water lakes, shallow marshes with thick cover. Winter also brackish wetlands and coastal areas.

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Conservation

Intraspecific variation

Eurasian teal (Anas crecca crecca)
Aleutian green-winged teal (Anas crecca nimia)
Green-winged teal (Anas crecca carolinensis)

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Conservation Status

Wild Population -
(Importance)

Abundant (B1).

General Legislation
  • This species is listed on Schedule 2 - Part I (Birds which may be killed or taken outside the close season, 1 February to 31 August except where indicated otherwise: Notes on the revised schedules state "NOTE: The close season for ducks and geese when below high water mark is 21 February to 31 August") of the LUK2 - Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 of the United Kingdom. (W5.Oct01)
  • This species is listed on Schedule 3 - Part 3 (Birds which may be sold alive at all times if ringed and bred in captivity: Notes on the revised schedules state "Birds which may be sold dead from 1 September to 28 February (NB: It is illegal to offer for sale at any time of the year any wild goose, moorhen, gadwall or goldeneye, although they are legitimate quarry species outside the close season)) of the LUK2 - Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 of the United Kingdom. (W5.Oct01)
CITES listing Listing not yet included.
Red-data book listing Listing not yet included.
Threats --

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Captive Populations

Common in collections (B8).

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Trade

--

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