Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Common Teal (Anas crecca)


Taxonomy

French: Sarcelle d’hiver German: Krickente Spanish: Cerceta común
Taxonomy:

Anas Crecca

Linnaeus

, 1758,

Europe

.

Sometimes placed in genus Nettion. Thought to be closest to A. andium and A. flavirostris. Race carolinensis sometimes considered a full species, and situation finely balanced. The male differs from nominate male in its vertical white breast-side line (2), lack of white horizontal scapular stripe (2), and lack of narrow buff supercilium (above broad green “eyestripe”) (1); various other very minor differences cannot be scored (plumage characters capped at three), differences in measurements do not exist, behavioural differences are matters of frequency rather than type#R, and genetic evidence, while suggesting paraphyly involving A. flavirostris#R, indicates that hybridization#R is relatively widespread in Beringia#R (possible score for broad hybrid zone 1), leaving carolinensis extremely close to species status. Aleutian race nimia judged very weak#R and here treated as a synonym of nominate crecca. Two subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. c. crecca Linnaeus, 1758 – Eurasian Teal – breeds in most of N & C Palearctic, also Aleutian Is; winters in C & S Eurasia and Africa.
  • A. c. carolinensis J. F. Gmelin, 1789 – Green-winged Teal – breeds in most of N Nearctic; winters in SW Canada and most of USA S to Mexico and West Indies.
  • Descriptive notes

    34–38 cm; male 250–450 g, female 200–400 g; wingspan 58–64 cm. Black and metallic green speculum generally delimited by white lines along front and... read more

    Voice

    Male gives distinctive, melodious, bisyllabic and far-carrying whistle during winter and spring... read more

    Habitat

    Small freshwater lakes, pools, slow-flowing rivers and shallow marshes with abundant fringe... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly seeds of aquatic plants, grasses, sedge, grain (cereals and rice), emergent and submerged macrophytes during winter months; many... read more

    Breeding

    Starts Mar/May, with egg-laying starting in NW & C Europe in mid Apr, S Finland in early to mid May, and in Russia late May to early... read more

    Movements

    Partially migratory, northernmost breeding birds descending to lower latitudes in winter, as far S... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). One of most abundant ducks. Race carolinensis very numerous in North America, with former estimate of over 7,000,000, but... read more

    Recommended citation

    Carboneras, C., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2017). Common Teal (Anas crecca). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/52868 on 23 August 2017).