Anas crecca (Linnaeus, 1758) T. TEAL. 1840
Family: Anseriformes > Anatidae

Teal, Edmund Fellowes

The Teal is our smallest duck and its bright green wing flash can be seen in marshlands across the UK.

This is an uncommon breeding bird in the UK, with an estimated population of just 4,000 pairs but this population is dwarfed by the winter arrival of around half a million birds from the Continent. At this time the male Teal is at his most resplendent, with a gilt-edged, chestnut and green head and a butter-yellow triangle beneath the tail. The scalloped, brown female shares the bright green wing flash of the male.

Wetland Bird Survey results show an upward trend for Teal across the UK and, unsurprisingly, that numbers peak between October and February. Since the 1968–72 breeding atlas, however, there has been a 14% decrease in the size of the breeding range in Britain.


Teal identification is often straightforward. The following article may help when identifying Teal.

related video

Identifying female dabbling ducks

Mallard. Photograph by John Harding

Ducks are usually easy to identify, but the females can be more challenging. Many of our familiar dabbling ducks have subtly-plumaged brown females which, on first glance, appear similar. This workshop will help you tell them apart with confidence.


Listen to example recordings of the main vocalisations of Teal, provided by xeno-canto contributors.

Alarm call


Develop your bird ID skills with our training courses

Our interactive online courses are a great way to develop your bird identification skills, whether you're new to the hobby or a competent birder looking to hone your abilities.

Browse training courses

Status and Trends

Population size and trends and patterns of distribution based on BTO surveys and atlases with data collected by BTO volunteers.


This species can be found on the following statutory and conservation listings and schedules.



Although much more abundant as a winter visitor, the Teal has a small breeding population of 2,700 to 4,750 breeding pairs (APEP4), with breeding numbers having increased since the time of the 1988–91 Breeding Atlas. However, the status is complicated by the presence of wintering and migrant birds until the end of April, and there has been a 14% range decrease since the 1968–72 Breeding Atlas; hence the longer term trend is unknown.


In winter Teal are widespread throughout Britain & Ireland, being found in a variety of coastal and freshwater sites from small pools to large estuaries. The breeding season distribution map is distorted by the continued presence of wintering birds through to the end of April. Breeding Teal are patchily distributed in southern Britain and in Ireland.

Occupied 10-km squares in UK

European Distribution Map

European Breeding Bird Atlas 2


Change in occupied 10-km squares in the UK


Teals are common winter visitors, recorded on up to 20% of lists but scarce in summer when there is a small over-summering population and small numbers breed.

Weekly occurence of Teal from BirdTrack
Weekly occurrence patterns (shaded cells) and reporting rates (vertical bars) based on BirdTrack data. Reporting rates give the likelihood of encountering the species each week.


Information about movement and migration based on online bird portals (e.g. BirdTrack), Ringing schemes and tracking studies.

An overview of year-round movements for the whole of Europe can be seen on the EuroBirdPortal viewer.


View a summary of recoveries in the Online Ringing Report.

Foreign locations of birds ringed or recovered in Britain & Ireland

Foreign locations of Teal ringed or recovered in Britain & Ireland
Encountered in: Winter (Nov-Feb); Spring (Mar-Apr); Summer (May-Jul); Autumn (Aug-Oct)


Lifecycle and body size information about Teal, including statistics on nesting, eggs and lifespan based on BTO ringing and nest recording data.



View number ringed each year in the Online Ringing Report


Feather measurements and photos on featherbase


For information in another language (where available) click on a linked name

Gaelic: Lach-bheag
Welsh: Corhwyaden
Catalan: xarxet comú
Czech: círka obecná
Danish: Krikand
Dutch: Wintertaling
Estonian: piilpart
Finnish: tavi
French: Sarcelle d’hiver
German: Krickente
Hungarian: csörgo réce
Icelandic: Urtönd
Irish: Praslacha
Italian: Alzavola
Latvian: kriklis
Lithuanian: rudagalve krykle
Norwegian: Krikkand
Polish: cyraneczka (zwyczajna)
Portuguese: marrequinha
Slovak: kacica chrapka
Slovenian: kreheljc
Spanish: Cerceta común
Swedish: kricka


Interpretation and scientific publications about Teal from BTO scientists.


Causes of change

The trend for the breeding population is uncertain and hence the drivers of change are also unclear.


Peer-reviewed papers
Teal, by Edmund Fellowes / BTO

High pathogenicity avian influenza: Targeted active surveillance of wild birds to enable early detection of emerging disease threats

A different approach could provide warning of avian influenza outbreaks

2022 | Wade, D., Ashton-Butt, A., Scott, G., Reid, S., Coward, V., Hansen, R.D.E., Banyard, A.C. & Ward, A.Epidemiology & Infection

Although we lack complete understanding of the disease links between wild and captive bird populations, the pattern of HPAI emergence in captive poultry reflects the movements of migratory waterfow

Links to more information from ConservationEvidence.com

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