Belongs to: dabbling ducks

Teal Anas crecca

Also known as: eurasian teal

BoCC Amber list

Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Smallest British duck, commonly seen dabbling along shorelines

Breeding habitat, undisturbed water bodies surrounded by plenty of cover; otherwise, fresh water and estuaries

Common and widespread in Britain, a few pairs breeding in Essex on reservoirs and grazing marsh and along river valleys


Male has chestnut and green head, yellow rear end and white flank stripe; female is mottled brown and buff; 35 cm

Form groups dabbling at water's edge, eating aquatic vegetation and seeds

Flight strong and fast, often wheeling in small tight flocks; when disturbed, catapult themselves up into the air


Nest is a lined hollow hidden in marsh or reeds, sometimes a long distance from water

One brood of 8–12 creamy buff eggs April to May; incubated by duck only, who also looks after the ducklings

© Tony Gunton