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Baikal Teal

Sibirionetta formosa

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About the Baikal Teal

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Geographic Range:

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Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Sibirionetta
Species: formosa

This small, handsome, dabbling duck spends the summer breeding season in northern Siberia and nests in the marshes and shrubby wetlands alongside great inland freshwater lakes. In winter, these birds migrate to southeast Asia.

Baikal Teal Facts

Appearance:
Baikal teals have a spotted breast and sleek brown backs. The female features a white chin and brown-sided body. In contrast, the male has a gold chin, grey sides, and a black and green striped face during breeding season.

Size:
Length: 1 foot, 4 inches, on average

Diet:
Although the teal is an omnivorous bird, its diet consists mostly of seeds but also includes snails, algae and water plants.

Reproduction:
Baikal teals lay four to 10 eggs. Males and females care for the eggs, but only females raise the young until they become independent.

Behavior:
Teals' webbed feet and thick feathers make them well suited for spending long periods of time in water. Their striped and blotchy feathers provide camouflage, helping them blend in with long grasses. The small, tooth-like projections on their bill allow them to filter out food more efficiently than most dabbling ducks.

Role in their habitat:
Baikal teals regulate water insect numbers and water plant growth. They're often considered a pest due to their consumption of grain and rice in farmers' fields. Teals are also prey for a variety of predators.

Habitat/Range:
Baikal teals live in grassy marshes and meadows near rivers. They breed in Siberia and Russia and winter in China, Taiwan, and Japan.

Median Life Expectancy:
Up to 20 years in the wild.

Conservation:
Least concern. Because of current hunting restrictions, this teal population is increasing. However, due to loss of their marsh habitat, teals themselves are becoming a rising concern.