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Common Teal

From Opus

Includes: Green-winged Teal

A. c. crecca Photo by ness123 Cley, Norfolk, January 2006
A. c. crecca
Photo by ness123
Cley, Norfolk, January 2006
Anas crecca


[edit] Identification

Length 34–43cm (13½-17 in), wingspan 53–59 cm, weight 340–360 g

A. c. carolinensis Photo by Forcreeks Oaks Bottom, Portland, Oregon, March 2004
A. c. carolinensis
Photo by Forcreeks
Oaks Bottom, Portland, Oregon, March 2004
FemalePhoto by warrenerUpton Warren, Worcestershire, January 2010
Photo by warrener
Upton Warren, Worcestershire, January 2010


  • Green speculum on secondaries
  • Grey body with black vermiculations
  • Chestnut head and neck
  • Dark green patch before eye to hindneck, outlined in yellowish line
  • Black and white horizontal stripe on tertial edges on A. c. crecca
  • Vertical white stripe on forward edge of flank on A. c. carolinensis
  • Buff, brown spotted breast
  • White belly
  • Black tail
  • Yellow sides to undertail
  • Dark grey bill and feet
  • Brown iris


  • Green speculum on secondaries
  • Brown body with dark streaks and mottling
  • Dark greyish-brown head, neck and eyestripe
  • Pink based bill, grey towards tip
  • Greyish-olive feet
  • Brown iris

[edit] Similar Species

Female somewhat similar to a small female Garganey or Blue-winged Teal, most easily distinguishable by pale line under the tail edge and smaller bill.

[edit] Distribution

Female subspecies carolinensisPhoto by bobsofpaGreen Cay Wetlands, Florida, USA, February 2010
Female subspecies carolinensis
Photo by bobsofpa
Green Cay Wetlands, Florida, USA, February 2010

Widespread throughout Eurasia, Africa (except the south), North and Central America

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

Photo by markrannerLossiemouth, Moray, Scotland, October 2017
Photo by markranner
Lossiemouth, Moray, Scotland, October 2017

Two to three subspecies are accepted:1

  • A. c. creccaCommon Teal
  • A. c. nimia (included in A. c. crecca by some authors)
  • Aleutian Islands
  • Very similar to A. c. crecca; differs in marginally larger average size.
  • A. c. carolinensisGreen-winged Teal

[edit] Habitat

Freshwater wetlands, reedbeds, small lakes and ponds.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Flight

Explosive vertical take-off when startled.

[edit] Diet

Their diet is varied and includes insects, larvae, worms, molluscs and crustaceans and vegetation including seeds.

[edit] Breeding

It is a ground nester, nesting in a hollow lined with leaves and down feathers, near water. The 8-11 eggs are incubated for 21-23 days. The young fledge 25-30 days later.

[edit] Vocalisation

Call: male, a clear, far-reaching, whistle; female a "krik" sound.

Listen in an external program

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2017. IOC World Bird Names (version 7.2). Available at
  3. Birdwatchers Pocket Guide ISBN 1-85732-804-3
  4. Collins Bird Guide ISBN 0 00 219728
  5. Wikipedia

[edit] External Links


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