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Conservation status: Amber

Teals are small dabbling ducks. Males have chestnut coloured heads with broad green eye-patches, a spotted chest, grey flanks and a black edged yellow tail. Females are mottled brown. Both show bright green wing patches (speculum) in flight. They are thinly distributed as a breeding species with a preference for northern moors and mires. In winter birds congregate in low-lying wetlands in the south and west of the UK. Of these, many are continental birds from around the Baltic and Siberia. At this time, the UK is home to a significant percentage of the NW European wintering population making it an Amber List species.



Latin name

Anas crecca


Swans, ducks and geese (Anatidae)

Where to see them

Best looked for in good numbers in winter on wetlands, both coastal and inland. Particularly important sites include the Somerset Levels and the Mersey Estuary.

When to see them

All year round, but more plentiful in winter.

What they eat

Seeds and small invertebrates


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-1,600-2,800 pairs220,000 birds-




David Farrow, Xeno-canto

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