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Anas crecca (*)

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Cladus: Avemetatarsalia
Cladus: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauriformes
Cladus: Dracohors
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Subordo: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Cladus: Averostra
Cladus: Tetanurae
Cladus: Avetheropoda
Cladus: Coelurosauria
Cladus: Tyrannoraptora
Cladus: Maniraptoromorpha
Cladus: Maniraptoriformes
Cladus: Maniraptora
Cladus: Pennaraptora
Cladus: Paraves
Cladus: Eumaniraptora
Cladus: Avialae
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Cladus: Pangalloanserae
Cladus: Galloanseres
Ordo: Anseriformes

Familia: Anatidae
Genus: Anas
Species: Anas crecca

Anas crecca Linnaeus, 1758

See also

Anas carolinensis (syn. Anas crecca carolinensis)

Anas crecca

Anas crecca


Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Editio Decima, Reformata. Tomus I. Holmiæ (Stockholm): impensis direct. Laurentii Salvii. 824 pp. DOI: 10.5962/bhl.title.542 BHL pages 126–127 BHL Reference page.

Vernacular names
العربية: الحذف الشتوي
asturianu: Zarceta Coríu
azərbaycanca: Fitçi-cürə
беларуская: Качка-цыранка
български: Зимно бърне
brezhoneg: Krag-goañv
català: Xarxet comú
čeština: Čírka obecná
чӑвашла: Симĕс йĕрлĕ шăркалчă
Cymraeg: Corhwyaden
dansk: Krikand
Deutsch: Krickente
Ελληνικά: Κιρκίρι (Ευρωπαϊκό), Σαρσέλλι
English: Eurasian Teal
Esperanto: Verdflugila kreko
español: Cerceta común
eesti: Piilpart
euskara: Xarxet comú
فارسی: خوتکا
suomi: Tavi
føroyskt: Krikkont
Nordfriisk: Uart
français: Sarcelle d'hiver
Frysk: Piiptsjilling
Gaeilge: Praslacha
Gàidhlig: Crann-Lach
galego: Cerceta Real
Gaelg: Laagh Laaghag
עברית: שרשיר
हिन्दी: Chhoti Murgabi
hrvatski: Kržulja
Kreyòl ayisyen: Sasèl zèl vèt
magyar: Csörgő réce
հայերեն: Մրտիմն սուլող
íslenska: Urtönd
italiano: Alzavola
日本語: コガモ
ქართული: ჭიკვარა
қазақша: Шүрегей ысқырғыш
한국어: 쇠오리
lietuvių: Rudagalvė kryklė
latviešu: Krīklis
македонски: Крѓа
монгол: Ногоохон нугас
Bahasa Melayu: Itik Teal
Malti: Sarsella
Nederlands: Wintertaling
norsk: Krikkand
polski: Cyraneczka
português: Marrequinha-comum
rumantsch: Anda crecca
русский: Чирок-свистунок
саха тыла: Чөркөй
davvisámegiella: Čiksa
slovenčina: Kačica chrapkavá
slovenščina: Kreheljc
shqip: Rosa kere
српски / srpski: Krkavac - Кркавац
svenska: Kricka
Kiswahili: Bata Bawa-kijani
தமிழ்: Kiluvai
ไทย: เป็ดปีกเขียว
Türkçe: Çamurcun
українська: Чирок-свистунець
vèneto: Anarin
Tiếng Việt: Ba kiếm
Bân-lâm-gú: Chúi-phiô-á
中文: 绿翅鸭

The Eurasian teal (Anas crecca), common teal, or Eurasian green-winged teal is a common and widespread duck which breeds in temperate Eurosiberia and migrates south in winter.[2] The Eurasian teal is often called simply the teal due to being the only one of these small dabbling ducks in much of its range.[3] The bird gives its name to the blue-green colour teal.

It is a highly gregarious duck outside the breeding season and can form large flocks. It is commonly found in sheltered wetlands and feeds on seeds and aquatic invertebrates. The North American green-winged teal (A. carolinensis) was formerly (and sometimes is still) considered a subspecies of A. crecca.


The Eurasian teal belongs to the "true" teals, a group of small Anas dabbling ducks closely related to the mallard (A. platyrhynchos) and its relatives; that latter group in fact seems to have evolved from a true teal. It forms a superspecies with the green-winged teal and the speckled teal (A. flavirostris). A proposed subspecies, A. c. nimia of the Aleutian Islands, differs only in slightly larger size; it is probably not distinct.[3][4][5]

Whether the Eurasian and green-winged teals are to be treated as one or two species is still being reviewed by the AOU,[6] while the IUCN and BirdLife International separate them nowadays.[1] Despite the almost identical and highly apomorphic nuptial plumage of their males, which continues to puzzle scientists, they seem well distinct species, as indicated by a wealth of behavioural, morphological and molecular data.[4][5][7][8]

The Eurasian teal was first scientifically named by Carl Linnaeus in his 1758 edition of Systema naturae. His Latin description reads: [Anas] macula alarum viridi, linea alba supra infraque oculos – "a duck with green speculum, a white line above and below the eyes" – and his primary reference was the bird's description in his earlier work Fauna Svecica.[9] In fact, the description he used in Systema Naturae was the name under which the bird went in the Fauna Svecica, demonstrating the value of his new binomial nomenclature by compressing the long-winded names formerly used in biological classification into much simpler scientific names like Anas crecca. Linnaeus also noted in his description that earlier authors had already written about the Eurasan teal at length: Conrad Gessner[10] had described it in the Historiae animalium as the anas parva ("small duck") among his querquedulae ("teals"); Ulisse Aldrovandi[11] had called it phascade or querquedula minor ("lesser teal"), and was duly referenced by Francis Willughby[12] who named the species querquedula secunda Aldrovandi ("the second teal of Aldrovandi"[note 1]). John Ray[14] may be credited with formally introducing the name "common teal", while Eleazar Albin[15] called it simply "the teal". As regards the type locality Linnaeus simply remarked that it inhabits freshwater ecosystems in Europe.[13]

The scientific name is from Latin Anas, "duck" and kricka, the Swedish name for this species.[16] The specific name of Linnaeus is onomatopoetic, referring to the male's characteristic call which was already discussed by Linnaeus' sources. The scientific name of the Eurasian teal—unchanged since Linnaeus' time— therefore translates as "duck that makes cryc"; common names like the Bokmål krikkand, Danish krikand and German Krickente mean the same.

A. crecca drake in nuptial plumage, showing horizontal white stripe from shoulder

A. crecca drake in nuptial plumage, showing horizontal white stripe from shoulder
A. carolinensis (A. crecca carolinensis) drake in nuptial plumage, showing vertical white stripe from shoulder

A. carolinensis (A. crecca carolinensis) drake in nuptial plumage, showing vertical white stripe from shoulder

Male (top) in nuptial plumage and female. Male has the wide white wing stripe and conspicuous face markings, which gave the colour teal its name.

The Eurasian teal is one of the smallest extant dabbling ducks at 34–43 cm (13–17 in) length and with an average weight of 360 g (13 oz) in drake (males) and 340 g (12 oz) in hens (females). The wings are 17.5–20.4 cm (6.9–8.0 in) long, yielding a wingspan of 53–59 cm (21–23 in). The bill measures 3.2–4 cm (1.3–1.6 in) in length, and the tarsus 2.8–3.4 cm (1.1–1.3 in).[3][17]

From a distance, the drakes in nuptial plumage appear grey, with a dark head, a yellowish behind, and a white stripe running along the flanks. Their head and upper neck is chestnut, with a wide and iridescent dark green patch of half-moon- or teardrop-shape that starts immediately before the eye and arcs to the upper hindneck. The patch is bordered with thin yellowish-white lines, and a single line of that colour extends from the patch's forward end, curving along the base of the bill. The breast is buff with small round brown spots. The center of the belly is white, and the rest of the body plumage is mostly white with thin and dense blackish vermiculations, appearing medium grey even at a short distance. The outer scapular feathers are white, with a black border to the outer vanes, and form the white side-stripe when the bird is in resting position. The primary remiges are dark greyish brown; the speculum feathers are iridescent blackish-green with white tips, and form the speculum together with the yellowish-white tips of the larger upperwing coverts (which are otherwise grey). The underwing is whitish, with grey remiges, dense dark spotting on the inner coverts and a dark leading edge. The tail and tail coverts are black, with a bright yellowish-buff triangular patch in the center of the coverts at each side.[17]

In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake looks more like the hen; it is more uniform in colour, with a dark head and vestigial facial markings. The hen itself is yellowish-brown, somewhat darker on wings and back. It has a dark greyish-brown upper head, hindneck, eyestripe and feather pattern. The pattern is dense short streaks on the head and neck, and scaly spots on the rest of the body; overall they look much like a tiny mallard (A. platyrhynchos) hen when at rest. The wings are coloured similar to the drake's, but with brown instead of grey upperwing coverts that have less wide tips, and wider tips of the speculum feathers. The hen's rectrices have yellowish-white tips; the midbelly is whitish with some dark streaking.[17]

Immatures are coloured much like hens, but have a stronger pattern. The downy young are coloured like in other dabbling ducks: brown above and yellow below, with a yellow supercilium. They are recognizable by their tiny size however, weighing just 15 g (0.53 oz) at hatching.[3][17][18]

The drake's bill is dark grey, in eclipse plumage often with some light greenish or brownish hue at the base. The bill of hens and immatures is pinkish or yellowish at the base, becoming dark grey towards the tip; the grey expands basewards as the birds age. The feet are dark grey in males and greyish olive or greyish-brown in females and immatures. The iris is always brown.[17]

Moults during summer. Male in eclipse resembles female, but with darker upperparts and grey bill. Flight feathers are moulted simultaneously and birds are flightless for up to 4 weeks.[19]

This is a noisy species. The male whistles cryc or creelycc, not loud but very clear and far-carrying. The female has a feeble keh or neeh quack. [17]

Males in nuptial plumage are distinguished from green-winged teals by the horizontal white scapular stripe, the lack of a vertical white bar at the breast sides, and the quite conspicuous light outlines of the face patch, which are indistinct in the green-winged teal drake. Males in eclipse plumage, females and immatures are best recognised by their small size, calls, and the speculum; they are hard to tell apart from the green-winged teal however.[17]

Distribution and habitat
Wintering birds at Purbasthali, Burdwan District of West Bengal (India)

The Eurasian teal breeds across the Palearctic and mostly winters well south of its breeding range. However, in the milder climate of temperate Europe, the summer and winter ranges overlap. For example, in the United Kingdom and Ireland a small summer population breeds, but far greater numbers of Siberian birds arrive in winter. In the Caucasus region, western Asia Minor, along the northern shores of the Black Sea, and even on the south coast of Iceland and on the Vestmannaeyjar, the species can be encountered all year, too.[17]

In winter, there are high densities around the Mediterranean, including the entire Iberian Peninsula and extending west to Mauretania; on Japan and Taiwan; as well as in South Asia. Other important wintering locations include almost the entire length of the Nile Valley, the Near East and Persian Gulf region, the mountain ranges of northern Iran, and South Korea and continental East and Southeast Asia. More isolated wintering grounds are Lake Victoria, the Senegal River estuary, the swamps of the upper Congo River, the inland and sea deltas of the Niger River, and the central Indus River valley. Vagrants have been seen in inland Zaire, Malaysia, on Greenland, and on the Marianas, Palau and Yap in Micronesia;[20] they are regularly recorded on the North American coasts south to California and South Carolina.[17]

From tracking wintering teal in Italy, most individuals departed the wintering grounds between mid-February and March, using the Black-Sea-Mediterranean flyway to reach their breeding grounds, from central Europe to east of the Urals, by May. This slow migration is due to long stopovers near the start of migration, mainly in south-eastern Europe.[21]

Altogether, the Eurasian teal is much less common than its American counterpart, though still very plentiful. Its numbers are mainly assessed by counts of wintering birds; some 750,000 are recorded annually around the Mediterranean and Black Seas, 250,000 in temperate western Europe, and more than 110,000 in Japan. In 1990 and 1991, a more detailed census was undertaken, yielding over 210,000 birds wintering in Iran, some 109,000 in Pakistan, about 77,000 in Azerbaijan, some 37,000 in India, 28,000 in Israel, over 14,000 in Turkmenistan and almost 12,000 in Taiwan. It appears to be holding its own currently, with its slow decline of maybe 1–2% annually in the 1990s – presumably mainly due to drainage and pollution of wetlands – not warranting action other than continuing to monitor the population and possibly providing better protection for habitat on the wintering grounds. The IUCN and BirdLife International classify the Eurasian teal as a species of Least Concern, unchanged from their assessment before the split of the more numerous A. carolinensis.[1][3][17]

The Eurasian teal is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.
Eggs at Muséum de Toulouse

This dabbling duck is highly gregarious outside of the breeding season and will form large flocks. In flight, the fast, twisting flocks resemble waders; despite its short legs, it is also rather nimble on the ground by ducks' standards. In the breeding season, it is a common inhabitant of sheltered freshwater wetlands with some tall vegetation, such as taiga bogs or small lakes and ponds with extensive reedbeds. In winter, it is often seen in brackish waters and even in sheltered inlets and lagoons along the seashore.[17]

The Eurasian teal usually feeds by dabbling, upending or grazing; it may submerge its head and on occasion even dive to reach food. In the breeding season it eats mainly aquatic invertebrates, such as crustaceans, insects and their larvae, molluscs and worms. In winter, it shifts to a largely granivorous diet, feeding on seeds of aquatic plants and grasses, including sedges and grains. Diurnal throughout the breeding season, in winter they are often crepuscular or even nocturnal feeders.[17]

It nests on the ground, near water and under cover. The pairs form in the winter quarters and arrive on the breeding grounds together, starting about March. The breeding starts some weeks thereafter, not until May in the most northernly locations. The nest is a deep hollow lined with dry leaves and down feathers, built in dense vegetation near water. After the females have started laying, the males leave them and move away for shorter or longer distances, assembling in flocks on particular lakes where they moult into eclipse plumage; they will usually encounter their offspring only in winter quarters. The clutch may consist of 5–16 eggs, but usually numbers 8–11; they are incubated for 21–23 days. The young leave the nest soon after hatching and are attended by the mother for about 25–30 days, after which they fledge. The drakes and the hens with young generally move to the winter quarters separately. After the first winter, the young moult into adult plumage. The maximum recorded lifespan – though it is not clear whether this refers to the common or the green-winged teal—was over 27 years, which is rather high for such a small bird.[17]

Aldrovandi's "first teal" was the Garganey, which was consequently scientifically described as Anas querquedula ("teal-duck").[13]


BirdLife International (2020). "Anas crecca". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2020: e.T22680321A181692388. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-3.RLTS.T22680321A181692388.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
Arzel, C.; Elmberg, J.; Guillemain, M. (January 2007). "A flyway perspective of foraging activity in Eurasian Green-winged Teal". Canadian Journal of Zoology. 85 (1): 81–91. doi:10.1139/z06-201.
Carboneras, Carles (1992). del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew; Sargatal, Jordi (eds.). Family Anatidae (Ducks, Geese and Swans). Handbook of Birds of the World. Vol. 1: Ostrich to Ducks. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. pp. 536–629, plates 40–50. ISBN 84-87334-10-5.
Livezey, Bradley C. (1991). "A phylogenetic analysis and classification of recent dabbling ducks (Tribe Anatini) based on comparative morphology" (PDF). Auk. 108 (3): 471–507. doi:10.2307/4088089. JSTOR 4088089.
Johnson, Kevin P.; Sorenson, Michael D. (1999). "Phylogeny and biogeography of dabbling ducks (genus Anas): a comparison of molecular and morphological evidence" (PDF). Auk. 116 (3): 792–805. doi:10.2307/4089339. JSTOR 4089339.
South American Classification Committee (2008). "Part 1. Struthioniformes to Cathartiformes, Version of 22 December 2008". A classification of the bird species of South America. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
Laurie-Ahlberg, C.C.; McKinney, F. (1979). "The nod-swim display of male Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)". Animal Behaviour. 27: 165–172. doi:10.1016/0003-3472(79)90136-2. S2CID 53155090.
Sangster, George; Knox, Alan G.; Helbig, Andreas J.; Parkin, David T. (2002). "Taxonomic recommendations for European birds". Ibis. 144: 153–159. doi:10.1046/j.0019-1019.2001.00026.x.
Linnaeus, Carl (1746): 109. Anas macula alarum viridi: linea alba supra infraque oculos. In: Fauna Svecica Sistens Animalia Sveciæ Regni, etc. (1st ed.): 39–40 [in Latin]. Conrad & Georg Jacob Wishoff, Leiden ("Lugdunum Batavorum").
Gessner, Conrad (1555). Historiae animalium (in Latin). Vol. 3. Zürich [Tigurium]: Christoph Froschauer. pp. 103–105. Archived from the original on 2012-12-05. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
Aldrovandi, Ulisse (Ulyssis Aldrovandus) (1637). Ornithologia (in Latin). Vol. 3: Tomus tertius ac postremus (2nd ed.). Bologna [Bononia]: Nicolò Tebaldini. pp. 207–209. Archived from the original on 2012-12-11. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
Willughby, Francis (1676). Ornithologiae libri tres (in Latin). London: John Martyn. p. 290. Archived from the original on 2012-12-09.
Linnaeus 1758, pp. 126–127
Ray, John (Joannis Raii) (1713). Synopsis methodica avium & piscium: opus posthumum, etc (in Latin). Vol. 1. London: William Innys. pp. 147–148. Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
Albin, Eleazar (1731–1738): A natural history of the birds (3 volumes). William Innys, London. Vol.1, p.95, plate 100; vol. 2, p.91, plate 102
Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 46, 121. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
Madge, S.; Burn, H. (1987). Wildfowl, an Identification Guide to the Ducks, Geese and Swans of the World. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0713636475.
"Anas crecca life history data". AnAge. 2009. Retrieved 6 January 2009.
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Wiles, Gary J.; Johnson, Nathan C.; de Cruz, Justine B.; Dutson, Guy; Camacho, Vicente A.; Kepler, Angela Kay; Vice, Daniel S.; Garrett, Kimball L.; Kessler, Curt C.; Pratt, H. Douglas (2004). "New and Noteworthy Bird Records for Micronesia, 1986–2003". Micronesica. 37 (1): 69–96.
Giunchi, D.; Baldaccini, N.E.; Lenzoni, A.; Luschi, P.; Sorrenti, M.; Cerritelli, G.; Vanni, L. (2019). "Spring migratory routes and stopover duration of satellite‐tracked Eurasian Teals Anas crecca wintering in Italy". Ibis. 161 (2): 117–130. doi:10.1111/ibi.12602.

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