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
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.
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.
Feeds on seeds, aquatic snails, algae, and plants.
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. [conservation status from birdlife.org]
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
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 Saône 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.