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Teal

Anas crecca

The UK’s smallest duck yet they fly all the way from the Baltics, and even as far as western Russia, to reach the Solent every winter. Not bad for a duck weighing little more than 300 grams.

All about teal

Teal mostly eat seeds in the winter, but you might spot then snacking on a tasty bug or two. They mostly feed in shallow water at night. If you see a large flock of ducks, you’re likely to find a teal hidden amongst them.

Look out for their funky green eye make-up or if you are far away you should easily spot the yellow triangle on their behinds.

Local spotlight

Their wintering numbers are relatively stable with counts peaking at around 6000 of us in January.

Conservation status

Teal are amber listed in the UK and are a qualifying feature for the Solent and Southampton Water and Langstone and Chichester Harbours Special Protection Areas – that means, when the sites were designated, a nationally significant number of teal used these coastlines in the winter.

Did you know?

A group of teal is called a ‘spring’ as they suddenly take-off almost vertically when spooked. From a distance their chorus of piping calls sound like tiny bells being struck.