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Eurasian Teal

Eurasian Teal
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5084 W: 166 N: 13009] (48434)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-08-30
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/8, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-10-09 8:10
Viewed: 2223
Points: 52
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Eurasian Teal or Common Teal (Anas crecca) is a common and widespread duck which breeds in temperate Eurasia and migrates south in winter. The Eurasian Teal is often called simply the Teal due to being the only one of these small dabbling ducks in much of its range. The bird gives its name to the blue-green colour teal.

It 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 is the smallest dabbling duck alive (with the exception of the Bufflehead ducks) at 34–43 cm (13–17 in) length and with an average weight of 360 g (13 oz) in drake (males) and 340 g (12 oz) in hens (females). The wings are 17.5-20.4 cm (6.9-8.0 in) long, yielding a wingspan of 53–59 cm (21–23 in). The bill measures 3.2–4 cm (1.3-1.6 in) in length, and the tarsus 2.8-3.4 cm (1.1-1.3 in).

From a distance, the drakes in nuptial plumage appear grey, with a dark head, a yellowish behind, and a white stripe running along the flanks. Their head and upper neck is chestnut, with a wide and iridescent dark green patch of half-moon- or teardrop-shape that starts immediately before the eye and arcs to the upper hindneck. The patch is bordered with thin yellowsh-white lines, and a single line of that colour extends from the patch's forward end, curving along the base of the bill. The breast is buff with small round brown spots. The center of the belly is white, and the rest of the body plumage is mostly white with thin and dense blackish vermiculations, appearing medium grey even at a short distance. The outer scapular feathers are white, with a black border to the outer vanes, and form the white side-stripe when the bird is in resting position. The primary remiges are dark greyish brown; the speculum feathers are iridescent blackish-green with white tips, and form the speculum together with the yellowish-white tips of the larger upperwing coverts (which are otherwise grey). The underwing is whitish, with grey remiges, dense dark spotting on the inner coverts and a dark leading edge. The tail and tail coverts are black, with a bright yellowish-buff triangular patch in the center of the coverts at each side.

In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake looks more like the hen; it is more uniform in colour, with a dark head and vestigial facial markings. The hen itself is yellowish-brown, somewhat darker on wings and back. It has a dark greyish-brown upper head, hindneck, eyestripe and feather pattern. The pattern is dense short streaks on the head and neck, and scaly spots on the rest of the body; overall they look much like a tiny Mallard (A. platyrhynchos) hen when at rest. The wings are coloured similar to the drake's, but with brown instead of grey upperwing coverts that have less wide tips, and wider tips of the speculum feathers. The hen's rectrices have yellowish-white tips; the midbelly is whitish with some dark streaking.

Immatures are coloured much like hens, but have a stronger pattern. The downy young are coloured like in other dabbling ducks: brown above and yellow below, with a yellow supercilium. They are recognizable by their tiny size however, weighing just 15 grams (about half an ounce) at hatching.

The drake's bill is dark grey, in eclipse plumage often with some light greenish or brownish hue at the base. The bill of hens and immatures is pinkish or yellowish at the base, becoming dark grey towards the tip; the grey expands basewards as the birds age. The feet are dark grey in males and greyish olive or greyish-brown in females and immatures. The iris is always brown.

This is a noisy species. The male whistles cryc or creelycc, not loud but very clear and far-carrying. The female has a feeble keh or neeh quack.

Males in nuptial plumage are distinguished from Green-winged Teals by the horizontal white scapular stripe, the lack of a vertical white bar at the breast sides, and the quite conspicuous light outlines of the face patch, which are indistinct in the Green-winged Teal drake. Males in eclipse plumage, females and immatures are best recognised by their small size, calls, and the speculum; they are hard to tell apart from the Green-winged Teal however.

he Eurasian Teal belongs to the "true" teals, a group of small Anas dabbling ducks closely related to the Mallard (A. platyrhynchos) and its relatives; that latter group in fact seems to have evolved from a true teal. It forms a superspecies with the Green-winged Teal and the Speckled Teal (A. flavirostris). A proposed subspecies, A. c. nimia of the Aleutian Islands, differs only in slightly larger size; it is probably not distinct.

The Eurasian Teal was first scientifically named by Carl Linnaeus in his 1758 edition of Systema naturae.

Distribution and habitat
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 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.
In winter, there are high densities around the Mediterranean – including the entire Iberian Peninsula and extending west to Mauretania –, on Japan and Taiwan, as well as in South Asia. Other important wintering locations include almost the entire length of the Nile Valley, the Near East and Persian Gulf region, the mountain ranges of northern Iran, and South Korea and continental East and Southeast Asia. More isolated wintering grounds are Lake Victoria, the Senegal River estuary, the swamps of the upper Congo River, the inland and sea deltas of the Niger River, and the central Indus River valley. Vagrants have been seen in inland Zaire, Malaysia, on Greenland, and on the Marianas, Palau and Yap in Micronesia; they are regularly recorded on the North American coasts south to California and South Carolina.

The Eurasian Teal is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

This dabbling duck is highly gregarious outside of the breeding season and will form large flocks. In flight, the fast, twisting flocks resemble waders; despite its short legs, it is also rather nimble on the ground by ducks' standards. In the breeding season, it is a common inhabitant of sheltered freshwater wetlands with some tall vegetation, such as taiga bogs or small lakes and ponds with extensive reedbeds. In winter, it is often seen in brackish waters and even in sheltered inlets and lagoons along the seashore.

The Eurasian Teal usually feeds by dabbling, upending or grazing; it may submerge its head and on occasion even dive to reach food. In the breeding season it eats mainly aquatic invertebrates, such as crustaceans, insects and their larvae, molluscs and worms. In winter, it shifts to a largely granivorous diet, feeding on seeds of aquatic plants and grasses, including sedges and grains. Diurnal throughout the breeding season, in winter they are often crepuscular or even nocturnal feeders.

It nests on the ground, near water and under cover. The pairs form in the winter quarters and arrive on the breeding grounds together, starting about March. The breeding starts some weeks thereafter, not until May in the most northernly locations. The nest is a deep hollow lined with dry leaves and down feathers, built in dense vegetation near water. After the females have started laying, the males leave them and move away for shorter or longer distances, assembling in flocks on particular lakes where they moult into eclipse plumage; they will usually encounter their offspring only in winter quarters. The clutch may consist of 5-16 eggs, but usually numbers 8-11; they are incubated for 21–23 days. The young leave the nest soon after hatching and are attended by the mother for about 25–30 days, after which they fledge. The drakes and the hens with young generally move to the winter quarters separately. After the first winter, the young moult into adult plumage. The maximum recorded lifespan – though it is not clear whether this refers to the Common or the Green-winged Teal – was over 27 years, which is rather high for such a small bird.

Source: Parts of “Wikipedia”

BREARD, maaciejka, bungbing, Alex99, Pitoncle, anel, pegos, KOMSIS, marius-secan, ferranjlloret, Jakkals, jurek1951 has marked this note useful
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To Belgerdy: mannetje?PeterZ 1 10-09 09:00
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 576 W: 0 N: 650] (7937)
  • [2011-10-09 8:24]

Hi Peter,
Nice shot, lovely natural colours and details.
Very useful and informative notes.
Regards Jiri.

Leuke foto, erg dichtbij,

ik vraag me af of dit geen ruiend mannetje is, gezien de wat grijze tint op de rug


Ciao Peter, great capture of lovely duck, fascinating reflections, fine details, splendid sharpness and wonderful natural colors, very well done my friend, have a good Sunday, ciao Silvio

Bonjour Peter,
Belle image de ce palmipède aux jolies couleurs et à la grande netteté.

Hallo Peter,
a very beautiful capture of the Eurasian Teal, superb sharpness, fantastic colours and lighting
Best regards

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-10-09 10:00]

Hello Peter,
what a beautiful duck, the colors and details are wonderful. POV, colors and sharpness are great. Well done.Best regards Siggi

Hi Pierre,
beautiful photo of this duck. Perfect portrait. Excellent point of view. Nice colours. Super sharpness and details. Also I like reflections in water.
Thanks for sharing,

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5801 W: 89 N: 14910] (62510)
  • [2011-10-09 11:21]

Hi Peter,a magnificent teal and a great capture,the sharpness is fantastic,especially on the head,great reflections,light balance and colors too.Thanks for share,have a nice week,Luciano

Hi Peter, fabulous capture of this Eurasian Teal with amazing sharp detail, just love the beautiful detailed feather texture and highlighted eye, superb exposure and lovely natural colours, excellent work here Peter and very well done,
Best Regards,


Great photo Peter! Good composition, wonderful colours and impressive sharpness.

Buena luz y desbordante nitidez. Excelente trabajo Peter:
J. Ignasi.

Nice background setting with soft water reflections, perfectly focused and with excellent detail and light. regards yiannis

Hello Peter,
A very beautiful photo of this duck, fantastic details sharpness, beautiful colours and great composition, very well taken,
Thanks for sharing and have a nice day,
Best Regards,

Hello Peter
Magnificent tones and reflections,wonderful light.Best regards

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2011-10-10 3:21]

Hi Peter.
It is a really top quality image of the lovely bird. Clarity of the image, 3D-effect, colours and details are ultimate. All is superb. Great job. My heartfelt greetings and TFS.

Bonjour Peter,
Excellente valorisation du sujet dans une belle lumière, sous un bon angle de prise de vue et une profondeur de champ maîtrisée.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3043 W: 3 N: 8701] (40526)
  • [2011-10-10 6:40]

Hello Peter,
Lovely light on the waterbird which you caught very well. Fine and classical composition and natural colors.
I had seen a flock of these ducks on a little lake and at first I thouhgt at Mallards, but there was no male around..
Thanks and kind regards

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2011-10-10 6:46]

Beautiful portrait of this Teal, so much details, excellent image. tfs.

  • Great 
  • pegos Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 222 W: 0 N: 356] (1982)
  • [2011-10-10 7:16]

Hello Peter,
this image, taken from a great POV, is splendid!
Superb sharpness, fine detail, great light and nice natural colours.
Very well done!
Thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 807 W: 0 N: 2370] (10420)
  • [2011-10-10 8:11]

Hallo Peter,
Beautiful presentation of this Eurasian Teal ..
Perfect details, good contrast and amazing light.
Best wishes,

Hello Peter,
What a splendid composition with impressive colors and very good details.
Amazing sharp details and clarity.
It is a first class capture.

hallo peter
super mooie opname veel scherpte en mooie details te zien van deze eend
groetjes lou

Hi Peter,
some fantastic photos of animals,feel like you to do make some plant, ya know what I will say the same to me :o))))

Hello Peter,
A beautiful close-up of this species common also for my country. Details, sharpness, colours, lighting and POV are great. Well done!

Hi Peter,
Great composition with an almost perfect mirror image of the Eurasian Teal. Excellent natural colours, eye contact and a stunning BG. Well done.

Hi Peter,
good pov with sharpness, awesome colour and details here,
well composed and well seen

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