Teal duck


The crackling teal belongs to one of the smallest species of ducks. This bird usually avoids people, so the study of its habits and lifestyle in natural conditions is not easy for scientists. Nevertheless, it was possible to collect some data.

While observing the crackling teal, it was possible to establish its favorite habitat, what it eats, how it builds nests and raises offspring. If you want to know more about this mysterious pernaty creation, which you most likely will never encounter in real life, read this article to the end.


An average teal weighs only 300-400 g, and its body length usually does not exceed 40 cm. If you accidentally see a bird flying in the distance quickly and with good maneuverability, a small size and brown color - this may well be a teal-crack. The female has the same color throughout the year: her feathers create brown and beige ripples. In both sexes of teal-crackers, the beak and legs are gray.

The head and neck of the male are covered with brown feathers, the belly and undertail are white with dark patches, and the top of the body is gray-brown. Interestingly, during the mating season, the feathers above the eyes of the male are painted white, forming the shape of a crescent. On the wings with a sweep, gray-blue mirrors with a white border are clearly visible. Young teal-cod is almost indistinguishable from females.


The teal-crackler can be found in the countries of Europe and Asia, which lies in temperate latitudes. However, they overwinter, gathering in large, flocks in India, Australia, Indochina, the southern part of the African continent and in the countries of the Mediterranean.

A teether likes to settle near the water. The best place for him is a small open pond surrounded by dense vegetation, near which there is a meadow. Sometimes the bird can make a nesting place and away from the river, but it will definitely not choose mountain or forest areas.

Nutrition and habits

The basis of nutrition for teal-crackler is food of animal origin. These are usually clams, worms, crustaceans, fish fry and roe, leeches, insects and their larvae. Teal can supplement your diet with rice, sorrel, sedge and various seeds. He has to do this when the molting period comes and he cannot fly.

Teal arrives from warm areas to the nesting site (photo of the flight is presented at the end of the article) later than other relatives, and flies off to wintering before anyone else. His flight is usually quiet and maneuverable. The female chick teal is usually silent and only occasionally quacks. But the male fully justifies his name - he often publishes an inimitable crack. Some compare the sound of the crackling teal with the sounds that are heard when you run your fingers along the teeth of the plastic comb.

Mating season

Like almost every other duck, the crackling teal reaches sexual maturity in the first year of life, but returns to the nesting site only in the second year. Depending on the habitat, different flocks of teals fly to the nesting site from the end of March to May. They immediately split into pairs and begin their marriage games.

The drake swims around the female with the beak lowered into the water, sharply throws back its head, tilts it to the side or shakes it. It ruffles feathers and can demonstrate wingspan slightly rising above the water. All this is accompanied by a typical loud man cracking a loud bang. The female also behaves unusually during this period: she twitches her head, cleans her feathers from behind and softly grunts.

Nest arrangement and hatching

Usually in high thickets near the water teal makes its nest. The photo below illustrates a cozy nest created by caring feathered parents from dry grass for the expected offspring. It is possible to distinguish the nest of the teal-codfish by the white feathers with brown splashes interlaced around its perimeter.

Each year the teal-crackler, creating a pair, leaves behind itself an offspring, which has an average of 8-9 individuals. The maximum laying of the female is 14 eggs. On eggs that have a light or dark brown color, only the female is sitting. The process of incubation takes an average of 22-23 days. Drake at this time goes to molt. After 35-40 days, the chicks are able to fly.

Number of

At present, the crackling teal is not threatened with extinction. However, from the 1970s to the 1990s a sharp decline in the population of this species was observed in the countries of the former USSR and Western Europe. The reasons for this situation include the structure of reservoirs and dams, as well as the draining of water bodies on which teal likes to settle.

A lot of cases have been noted behind the teal-jerk when, after being scared off, he permanently threw the clutch. In other cases, after conceiving the danger, the female freezes and becomes completely invisible, because of which the clutch is often crushed. All this is the reason that there are very few creepers in places where people live.

Captivity and hunting

In captivity, teal-crackers contain very rarely. They are fed with seeds, corn, oats, millet, or compound feeds. They are thermophilic, so in winter birds should be sheltered from the cold and drafts. In captivity, they quickly get used to people. Contain these birds for pond decoration and hunting.

Domestic teals are used as stool pigeons when hunting wild teal crackers and teal whistlers. Hearing the voice of their relatives, teals decide that the place where it comes from is safe and stern. Having seen and heard similar ones to themselves, they boldly move forward to meet them, to the delight of hunters.

A crackling teal is a small bird that you can rarely see live, as it avoids people. So far, fortunately, virtually nothing threatens the survival of these birds. They are not of great interest for hunters, they are rarely bred in captivity, they are not affected by deforestation, and they wait out cold winters in warm lands.

What is this duck

Ornithologists have not fully understood the systematics of teal. By morphological characteristics, teal differs from mallards in smaller sizes, but anatomically these ducks are very similar. There are no compelling reasons for distinguishing duck babies into a separate genus, and zoologists traditionally attribute teals to river ducks, as well as goose-like ducks.

Important. In the Scandinavian countries and the UK, whistling teals are caught on an industrial scale during seasonal migration. Such a love for teals is due to the delicious qualities of meat, a large yield of edible pieces of live weight of the bird (up to 70%).

About twenty types of teals are described:

  • blue,
  • Gray,
  • brown,
  • brown,
  • chestnut,
  • Campbell,
  • Auckland,
  • Madagascar and others.
A teal whistle is the only one allowed to hunt in Russia.

Four species are common in Russia. Two of them - marble and clotun belong to vulnerable species and are listed in the Red Book. Teals-whistlers and tees-crackers are more numerous, but hunting in the territory of the Russian Federation is allowed only for teals-whistlers.


The teal-whistling duck is the smallest of the teal. The weight of a well-fed drake in autumn is not more than 450 g, and the ducks are even less. The body length is only 3.3-3.8 cm. The span of the narrow wings of the drakes is up to 6.4 cm.

A teal whistle is able to take off from the water without a run.

In the teals there are unusual wings, pointed at the ends, allowing them to soar into the air, without any running start from water and land, with a vertical candle. The flight is swift, full of turns, the landing is silent. The structure of the wing and small size allow the teals to settle in the densest thickets, to find food on the banks flooded by flood.

The summer plumage of males and females is almost the same and rather modest, so you should know how to distinguish the duck from the drake. The basis of the background - dark brown, abdomen lighter with dark specks. It is easy to distinguish them from other wild ducks by the iridescent emerald mirror on the wings.

Grooming a female drake changes for several weeks. He "changes" in a bright wedding suit. The little body becomes motley gray. The head becomes rusty. On the head there are clearly two green stripes iridescent with blue and red tint, converging on the sides in the back of the head. The strips are beautifully outlined with a white border, going from the eyes to the beak. In the mating season, the drakes declare themselves ringing, tinkling, strumming whistling "hrayuk".

Teether teal

Teal-crackle (korostolek, blue-winged teal) is slightly larger than the whistle. The weight of a dense, well-fed body comes to half a kilo. The birds got their name for the crackling whistle of the wings, issued during the gambling mating duel flights of drakes one after the other, and the creaky jerky quacking “Crerr-Kerrrer,” “Kneck.”

Treskunkov from whistles easily distinguished by a longer dark gray beak with a yellowish-orange base.

Teal clock (cloak) lives in Siberia and the Far East. A drake in the mating season may well compete with the beauty and effect of a whistler. On the head of a male is a black hat, decorated on the sides with a golden strip that turns into an emerald mirror and is outlined with white and black stripes. Breast saturated pink color. The body on the sides is blue.

Teal karokun looks very elegant.

Drakes are talkative. In flight and on the water, they constantly shout loudly “cloc-clo-clo”. Brown-gray-brown females are distinguished by white markings at the base of their beak and a double black-and-white stripe along the eye line.

Important! Frequently, the migration paths of the clostuns lie above the rice fields where birds love to feed. Protecting the harvest, the peasants put nets and poison the birds with poison, because of which the number of teal-clotuns is constantly decreasing.

Marbled Teal

Marbled Teal - Endangered View. In Russia, teal nested in the Volga delta, on small lakes of the Caspian lowland. The last meeting with marble teals was recorded in 1984, the breed dies out, as the duck Gogol once disappeared.

Weigh birds from 400 to 600 g. Unlike their fellows, they can dive deeply and like to sit on trees. The plumage is marbled, gray-brown with white specks, almost the same in males and females.

Habitat and habitat

Whistlers and codfish live practically throughout the entire territory of the Russian Federation. In the winter they fly to the south and west of Europe, Asia Minor, and the Mediterranean. For the winter, the drains who prefer the northern resorts leave the ducks migrating closer to the south.

For wintering birds choose lakes, flood meadows, river deltas, overgrown bays. In places of nesting they settle on small reservoirs with non-flowing water of a forest-steppe, tundra, and forest-tundra strip. They like swamps covered with sedge and reeds.

Feed base

Collecting food teal literally "stand on his head." They immerse their heads in the water, raising their tail high above the surface. The way of feeding of teals is typical for many species of wild ducks - they “click” the beak, passing water and sludge through the beak, draining nutrients, or collecting food from the ground.

Teals feed on all that can be found in the backwaters.

In the diet of teals include:

  • seeds, roots, soft particles of plants growing along the shores and in the water,
  • larvae and adult aquatic insects,
  • small clams,
  • worms
  • small crustaceans,
  • duckweed,
  • cereal grains.

Mating games

The marriage rituals of teals are complex and lengthy. First, the drake "cuts" the circles near the chosen one. Shows off mirrors on the wings, whistles loudly, flapping wings. The female responds to grooming with a quiet quack. Males during mating games often take to the air and circle for a long time over the ducks, becoming a good target.

Important! Teals - duck long-livers. The maximum recorded bird age is 21 years.

Home teals arrange at a distance of no more than 150 meters from the water. However, by the time the chicks appear, the water drops, and they have to travel long enough to reach the water. For safety reasons, ducks triple nests nearby from each other, forming small settlements.

For female nests choose:

  • dense thickets of sedge, manna, rush, or fern,
  • windbreaks, heaps of brushwood,
  • coastal alder, willow bushes,
  • hillock,
  • thick pine, spruce undergrowth.

Ducks dig in small soils in dry soil, lay out the bottom with hay, sprigs, and dry leaves. They build a roller of feathers and down around the entire circumference, of which they make an additional litter in the nest itself.

The size of nests in teals varies slightly:

  • nest diameter - 14-18 cm,
  • tray diameter - 12-15 cm,
  • tray depth - 8-10 cm,
  • the height of the sides is 7-10 cm.

Duck, depending on the species, lays from 8 to 15 eggs. Eggs of teals matte, smooth, small. The color is white, light olive, cream, ocher. In whistlers, eggs are round, and in crackers, they are elongated.

How many ducks sit on the eggs? On the clutch, the female sits alone for 21-24 days. Drakes leave girlfriends immediately after laying the last egg, gather in "boys" flocks and depart for places of seasonal molting. Females change the feather after the chicks stand on the wing.

In southern Russia, ducklings pierce the shell in May-June, in the north - in July. Hatching chicks are covered with fluff, on top of the body is greenish-brown, bottom yellowish-gray. Pukhovichki quite viable. Immediately after birth, they are energetic, they move quickly on land and on water, they are able to forage themselves, they dive perfectly, but with age this skill disappears.

In the month, the chicks begin to stand on the wing and make short-distance flights from the reservoir to the reservoir. After the offspring become completely independent, the teals, replacing the feather, get together in flocks and begin to wander to the places of feeding before the beginning of the autumn migration in September-November.

Description and variations

River ducks a lot. Species differ in body size, feather color, habits. The teal duck is the smallest in this category. The bird is in demand because it is found everywhere.

Various subspecies can be found both in the south and in the Far East. The exception is the cold northern regions. The ducks got their name because of the sound produced during communication - “chirk-teal”. Specifications:

  • body length - about 35 cm in females, about 40 cm in drakes,
  • body weight - 300-600 g,
  • Drake is larger than duck, has a brighter color.

Attention! The coloring of the bird is brighter only in the mating season. The rest of the time, the drake resembles its pale gray female. Only the color of the feather mirror on the wing remains unchanged.

  1. Whistle. The drake is distinguished by a horizontal bluish-green stripe near the eyes. The rest of the head is brown-red. The mass of adults: 280-390 g (drake) and 200-360 g (female).
  2. Treskunku. It features a distinct white stripe on the head. Females are lighter than whistling whistles.
  3. Clotun Larger than the other species of teal ducks. The mass of an adult individual reaches 0.6 kg. On the head of the male golden emerald pattern. It nests in North Asia and the Far East. Quite a rare guest in the hunting grounds, so it is very valuable.
  4. Marbled Teal Also quite a large bird (0.4-0.6 kg). In female and drake about the same color. White and black feathers are folded so as to resemble marble. Also, the subspecies is known as the narrow-nosed because of the characteristic shape of the beak. It is even rarer than cloctun. By the nature of this duck is the most trusting and intimidating.

Subspecies Features

Different types of teals are distinguished by voices:

  • whistling whistling,
  • crackling cracks,
  • kloktun publishes deaf gurgling sounds,
  • marble ducks silently “strike sharply”.

Duck nesting continues for several weeks in February-March. Some species of birds demonstrate interesting mating games. Moreover, drakes sometimes seek representatives of other wild duck species.

Codfish are very active during breeding, their marriage ceremony is noisy: birds make loud, snappy sounds. Not one applicant takes care of one duck at once. The drakes of this subspecies are enticed by a decoy of females and duck stuffed animals. Whistlers have a long marriage ritual. It consists of complex pa in the air and on the ground. After mating, the drake whirls slowly over the female and becomes an easy target.

All types of birds build their nests in grass, reed beds or bushes near water bodies. Marbled teal sometimes settles on a tree. The offspring quickly adapts and rises on the wing to the start of the hunting season. The exception is kloktuna ducklings, which develop slowly.

Other characteristics of the duck variety

Teals are able to fly fast, easy to maneuver in the sky. At the sight of water and at the time of danger, they instantly fall down like a stone and dive deep. Waterfowl can also take off vertically. The secret of such skill is in the special form of the wings.

Attention! Whistlers - speed flyers. Because of this, they have become a popular game for sport hunting. Narrow-billed teals are the best depth finders.

It feeds on the river species of plant and animal food (mollusks, insects). By the end of the summer the bird is gaining fat. К середине осени сбивается в большие стаи и улетает в тёплые края. Представители этой разновидности покидают родные места позднее других утиных собратьев, и возвращаются часто позже других.

Мясо уток чирков, по мнению охотников, вкуснее, нежели у кряковой разновидности. The extensive range of life and the high number of whistlers and jigglers made birds a popular game for different types of hunting. Most likely to find this duck near calm overgrown ponds and lakes with stagnant water.


The weight that the teal whistles is gaining is five hundred grams. The duck has narrow wings that are sharp at the end. This natural property endowed the bird with the ability to rise sharply upwards. Wings help her land in any terrain. Distinguished by unpretentious content, ducks live in all regions of our country. True avoid particularly cold climatic zones. They lodge near lakes and marshland, where they can find food for themselves without too much difficulty.

The appearance of the duck teal whistle distinguishes them from others with a short body, sharp wings and a small neck. The color of the male duck includes green, yellow and gray. On the head is dominated by brown with a green stripe, passing in the center of the brown spot.

There is also a green stripe on the wings. When the plumage changes, the males are predominantly gray. The male teal whistle has a black beak and shiny feathers.

The reproductive age of a duck comes at one year old, but they start reproduction later. With the end of frosts ducks proceed to the mating games.

Male whistle has a bright color.

They acquired a distinctive name thanks to the voice. The male in the period of mating games makes a whistling voice. The male teal whistle lowers its head into the lake, tilting its head with its voice, lures the females. The voice is used by the bird exclusively during the courtship period. A voice is a male's way of attracting a female with which they will create offspring.

Characteristic features of the species:

  • holders of special voices settle in small groups,
  • the nests are wreathed near reservoirs,
  • They pull out the bottom for the nest and spread it out with grass, leaves or branches,
  • a bird spreads its feathers around the nest,
  • for laying leave up to ten eggs
  • the duration of incubation lasts for twenty-three days,
  • from birth ducklings are hardy,
  • a month later, the ducklings begin to fly.

Teal whistle can not do without ponds


Individuals live mainly in the northern regions, but also concentrate in the south. Places of excessive subzero temperatures duck prefer to avoid. The terrain of tundra and steppes in combination with forest zones are ideal for accommodating the whistler population.

When the need for procreation comes, ducks settle near reservoirs with stagnant water. Such water areas provide ducks with the opportunity to feed themselves.

In the cold season, ducks eat vegetable food, in the warm season they prefer an animal diet. Animal feed for ducks is worms and insects.

This is a wild species of ducks belonging to the genus of teal or mallard. They are hardy and not demanding. Endurance view at a high level. Representatives of the species have demanding appearance data and a specific voice.

Whistle breeds offspring on standing water

Birds for wintering flies to the southern regions, choosing a swamp and water area. Having started breeding, the birds settle in one place until their offspring becomes independent. Newborns do not require special care and attention from their parents. After a short time, the kids acquire the skill of flying. Parents take care of their children a little more until the latter become confident during the flight and independent in their diet.

Beautiful and interesting representatives of the species attract attention with their miniature and plumage.


Teals feed on both plant and animal feed. The composition of vegetable feed includes green parts of plants and their seeds, mainly aquatic plants, and animals - aquatic invertebrates. Most of the food birds found in the water. Teals immerse their beak in water and drain food from water. On the ground, these ducks move awkwardly on their short legs, waddling, and tedle the grass in search of food. Small teals living on reservoirs remote from settlements, go in search of food during the day. Birds swim in the water, collecting their edible parts of plants and insects with their beaks. In the summer, teals feed on animal feed - dragonfly larvae, caddisflies and water gauges.


The teal-whistle lodges along the banks of reservoirs located in the forest or forest-steppe belt. This waterfowl prefers swampy water bodies, sometimes nests along the banks of slow-flowing rivers. The teal-whistle produces most of the food in the water. Teal nests are usually arranged among dense coastal vegetation. In winter, they join together in huge flocks with other waterfowl and keep on the rivers, large lakes, in the mouths of the rivers and on the sea coast.


With the beginning of the nesting period, the drake is dressed in an impressive mating dress. The head, throat and upper neck become tan. The sides of the head are colored bluish-green with a copper-red tint. The back and wings of a drake are gray with black transversal streams. His lower body is lighter. On wings bright green mirrors are accurately allocated.

Forcing teals whistles like marshmallows. Drakes in the nesting period are aggressively disposed towards their rivals. However, unlike other ducks, male teal does not protect its plot. Couples are formed on wintering. The male and female fly together in search of a nest site. The nest should be well covered among grassy bushes or coastal shrubs. With her breast, the female seems to be “screwed” into the ground, arranging a hole in which the eggs will be laid. The tray is lined with blades of grass. In full laying it can be from 8 to 11 eggs. Only female incubates eggs.

In the southern areas, the chicks appear in late May - early June, and in the northern - in July. After the chicks that came out of the eggs, dry, duck brings them to the water. Pukhovichki from the first day of life swim well and dive.


  • Males of teal molt in June or in July, females - in August or September. Outside the nesting period, the drake is almost the same as the duck, but in the mating period it appears from the duck in all its glory.
  • Small teals fly very fast, which attracts the special attention of hunters. They are hunted for sporting interest. In Spain, Italy and other European countries, half of the whistle teal population per year is killed by hunters.
  • Even a pair of teal males often join bachelor groups. During courtship, they often return to tokovische.
  • The female, going to look for food, covers the eggs in the nest with a blanket of dark down.


Flight: The teal-whistle differs from other species by its narrow and sharp wings. This feature provides the bird the fastest flight. The teal whistle flies almost silently, with frequent body turns. This duck can take off from water and land almost vertically upwards.

Masonry: 8-11 yellow or white eggs. The female trays the nest tray with leaves and grass. At the end of hatching, a knot of dark down appears in it.

Drake: male plumage is very bright. The head, throat and upper part of the neck are reddish-brown in front, the sides of the head are blue-green with a copper-red tint. Chest light ocher with brown spots. The back and sides are gray with black transverse streams. On the wing is a two-color mirror.

Duck: like the females of other ducks, is colored rather modestly. The outfit serves as an excellent disguise.

- Nesting
- Wintering

Where it lives

The nesting region of the teal whistle is quite large - most of Central Asia, Mongolia, Manchuria and Japan, it reaches the south of Western Europe.


Nowadays teals are rather numerous, however small reservoirs in which they nest disappear. To avoid a reduction in the number of these birds, you must also limit the hunting of them.

Teal whistle. Birds of Brateevograd. Video (00:00:45)

In the past ten years, this little one was fed on the Gorodnya river in a park area in the area of ​​the ancient Neti river. The main reason for the death of clutches or small ducks in Moscow are the gray crows, which in April-May are particularly actively exploring the shores of forest reservoirs. But in this area, from the Borisov Dam to the garages, there are a lot of people who scare the crows with their many notions.
Teals pile up all year round on both banks of the Moskva River from the beginning of the Maryinsky Park to the turn to the Conversations. In winter, in search of feeding, they fly into residential areas of Maryino and Brateevo.

Continental birds Teal whistle. Video (00:01:39)

waterfowl from the duck family. The smallest of the river ducks, it is considered common and one of the most numerous within the limits of its habitat. It nests in the northern and temperate climate of Eurasia, including almost the entire territory of Russia (with the exception of the extreme northern regions of Siberia). In addition, in some publications, the green-winged teal living in North America is regarded as a subspecies of the teal-whistle, but the final consensus on the separation of these two species has not yet been reached. Almost everywhere, migratory bird winters to the west and south of the nesting range: in Western and Southern Europe, Africa, South and Southeast Asia. It feeds on animal and plant food. Breeds in separate pairs, the rest of the time leads pack lives. Object of commercial hunting.