Common Teal (Anas crecca)
The Common Teal (Anas crecca) is a small dabbling duck belonging to the family Anatidae. It is found throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere, including Europe, Asia, and North America. The Common Teal inhabits a range of wetland habitats, including marshes, ponds, and lakes, where it feeds on a variety of aquatic plants, seeds, and invertebrates.
The Common Teal measures around 34-38 centimeters (13-15 inches) in length, with a wingspan of approximately 58-64 centimeters (23-25 inches). It has a distinctive greenish-brown plumage with a chestnut-colored head and neck. The bird has a small, pointed bill and short legs, which are set far back on its body, making it well-adapted for swimming.
The Common Teal feeds primarily on aquatic plants, seeds, and invertebrates, such as insects, snails, and crustaceans. The bird is able to filter food from the water by using its bill to strain small organisms from the mud.
Reproduction and Lifecycle:
The breeding season for the Common Teal typically occurs between April and June, depending on the location. These ducks are monogamous and form pair bonds that can last for a single breeding season. They build a shallow nest on the ground near water, often concealed among vegetation.
The female lays 7 to 10 pale green or buff-colored eggs, which are incubated by the female for around 18-21 days. After hatching, the chicks are able to leave the nest almost immediately and are led by the female to nearby water. The young birds are able to fly at around 35-40 days old and become fully independent within a few weeks of fledging.
The Common Teal is currently listed as a species of “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to its wide distribution and stable population. However, the bird could face potential threats from habitat loss due to wetland drainage, pollution, and other human activities. Conservation efforts focus on habitat preservation, monitoring populations, and reducing disturbances to nesting sites to ensure the long-term survival of the species.