Baikal Teal (Anas formosa)

Baikal Teal

[order] ANSERIFORMES | [family] Anatidae | [latin] Anas formosa | [authority] Georgi, 1775 | [UK] Baikal Teal | [FR] Sarcelle elegante | [DE] Gluckente | [ES] Cerceta del Baikal | [NL] Siberische Taling


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Anas formosa EU n


Anas is a genus of dabbling ducks. It includes mallards, wigeons, teals, pintails and shovelers in a number of subgenera. Some authorities prefer to elevate the subgenera to genus rank.[1] Indeed, as the moa-nalos are very close to this clade and may have evolved later than some of these lineages, it is rather the absence of a thorough review than lack of necessity that this genus is rather over-lumped. The phylogeny of this genus is one of the most confounded ones of all living birds. Research is hampered by the fact the radiation of the two major groups of Anas ? the teals and mallard groups ? took place in a very short time and fairly recently, roughly in the mid-late Pleistocene. Furthermore, hybridization may have long played a major role in Anas evolution, with within-subgenus hybrids regularly and between-subgenus hybrids not infrequently being fully fertile.[1] The relationships between species are much obscured by this fact, and mtDNA sequence data is of dubious value in resolving their relationships; on the other hand, nuclear DNA sequences evolve too slowly to resolve the phylogeny of the subgenus Anas for example. Some major clades can be discerned. For example, that the traditional subgenus Anas, the mallard group, forms a monophyletic (in the loose sense, i.e. non-holophyletic) group has never been seriously questioned by modern science and is as good as confirmed (but see below). On the other hand, the phylogeny of the teals is very confusing. For these reasons, the dabbling duck lineages more distantly related to mallard group (which includes the type species of Anas) than the wigeons should arguably be separated in their own genera. These would include the Baikal Teal, the Garganey, the spotted black-capped Punanetta group, and the shovelers and other blue-winged species. Whether the wigeons, which are very distinct in morphology and behavior, but much less so in mtDNA cytochrome b and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 sequences, should also be considered a distinct genus Mareca (including the Gadwall and Falcated Duck) is essentially the one remaining point of dispute as regards the question which taxa should remain in this genus and which ones should not.

Physical charateristics

Small dabbling duck with striking head pattern. Males have complex buff, green, white and black head pattern, dark-spotted pinkish breast, grey flanks, black undertail-coverts and long chestnut, black and whitish scapulars. Female has isolated, round, pale loral spot and broken supercilium. Eclipse male resembles female. Juvenile has less defined loral spot than female, somewhat plainer head sides and dark mottling on whitish belly. Similar spp. Female Garganey A. querquedula lacks round, white loral spot and has unbroken supercilium. Voice Males utter deep, chuckling wot-wot-wot, females a low quack

Listen to the sound of Baikal Teal

[audio: Teal.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 55 cm wingspan max.: 60 cm
size min.: 39 cm size max.: 43 cm
incubation min.: 26 days incubation max.: 27 days
fledging min.: 35 days fledging max.: 27 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 6  
      eggs max.: 14  


Eurasia : North


Occurs in Alaska and in northern west coast states; nests near swampy tundra areas. Spends winters on freshwater lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and farmlands, often roosting on water during the day and feeding in fields at night.


Baikal Teal Male: Eight to ten white eggs, often yellow-tinted, are laid in a ground nest made of dried grass and plants lined with feathers and down. Incubation ranges from 21 to 25 days and is carried out by the female

Feeding habits

Feeds on seeds, aquatic snails, algae, and plants.

Video Baikal Teal


copyright: youtube


This species tends to congregate in very large flocks, and suffered rapid declines in many parts of its range during the twentieth century because of hunting and other threats. Although counts of wintering individuals in Korea have increased spectacularly over recent years, its roost sites are unprotected, large numbers died in a recent disease outbreak, and most importantly, the dry rice paddies where it feeds are being converted to vegetable farms and other uses. It is therefore projected to undergo a rapid decline in the immediate future, and hence the species is still listed as Vulnerable. If these land-use changes do not occur as rapidly as predicted, or if significant populations are found in China, then it may warrant downlisting to Near Threatened.
This duck has a rapidly declining population as a result of hunting and destruction of its wintering wetland habitats for agriculture and economic development. These factors qualify it as Vulnerable.
The Baikal Teal is only known to breed in eastern Russia, and it occurs on migration in the Russian Far East, Mongolia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea and northern China. Large wintering concentrations were recorded in the past in Japan, South Korea and mainland China, with smaller numbers (or vagrants) recorded in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Thailand. However, in recent decades the only large wintering flocks have been found in South Korea, with some smaller concentrations at a few sites in Japan and mainland China. It has occurred as a vagrant in several European countries and is casual down to Pacific coast of North America, but it is possible that many of the birds involved had escaped from captivity.
Baikal Teal status Vulnerable


The Baikal Teal is a migratory species. It Winters in East and South East China and South Japan. A few individuals regularly venturing as far West as North East India. Vagrants have been reported from North America (chiefly Pacific coast), but probably escapes involved. In Europe the species is recorded in Spitsbergen, Britain, Ireland, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Spain, Italy, Malta. Most are likely to be escapes since species commonly kept in waterfowl collections. However, perhaps some genuine vagrants: 5 obtained Saone valley, France, November 1836 pre-dated introductions into Europe (from c. 1840); also, juveniles perhaps more likely wild as species reported rarely to breed in captivity.

Distribution map

Baikal Teal distribution range map

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