Baikal Teal

Baikal Teal

Scientific Classification

Common Name
Baikal teal, Formosa teal, spectacled teal
Genus Species
Sibirionetta formosa

Fast Facts

Baikal teals are medium-sized ducks. The top of their head is dark brown to black with buff and green patches on the face surrounded by white and black. The breast is light brown, speckled with black. The sides are bluish-gray. The bill is dark gray to black and the legs and feet gray.
39 to 43 cm (15.6 to 17.2 in.)
360 to 520 g (12.6 to 18.2 oz)
The Baikal teal feeds on seeds and grain, water snails, algae and other water plants.
Approximately 25 days
Clutch Size
8 to 10 eggs; nests in open tussock meadows near water and in mossy bogs with clumps of willows (Salix) and larch (Larix).
Fledging Duration
25 to 30 days
Sexual Maturity
1 to 2 years
Life Span
Averages 20 to 30 years
The Baikal teal breeds in eastern Siberia, Russia and occurs on passage in Mongolia and North Korea. It winters mainly in Japan, South Korea and mainland China, and it is a rare winter visitor to Taiwan.
The Baikal teal inhabits marshes and lakes, streams and rivers and winters in a variety of freshwater and brackish areas.
Global: The 2004 Asian Waterbird Census estimated the population in Korea at 455,000 individuals. A separate study in 2004 reported 658,000 individuals in Korea. A separate study in 2004 reported 658,000 individuals in Korea. Brazil (2009) has estimated that there may be 10,000-1 million breeding pairs in Russia.
IUCN: Least Concern
CITES: Appendix II
USFWS: Vulnerable

Fun Facts

This duck feeds by dabbling from the water surface. Dipping its head, it upends its body.

At night, Baikal teals forage for acorns in the woods and grains and seeds.

Ecology and Conservation

The Baikal Teal’s population is growing rapidly and increasing in many areas of its range.

Hunting was probably the main reason for its original decline and is still a serious threat, particularly as it concentrates in large flocks on wetlands and arable land. However, hunting itself is now thought to be in decline. In China and South Korea, birds are killed by poisoned grain; pesticide poisoning and pollution from agricultural and household wastes.

The Baikal teal is legally protected in Russia, Mongolia, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and some provinces in China; and is listed in the Red Data Books of South Korea, Russia and Yakutia.


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Gotch, A.F. Birds - Their Latin Names Explained. UK. Blandford Books Ltd., 1981.

Johnsgard, P. Ducks, Geese, and Swans of the World. Lincoln. Univ. Of Neb. Press, 1978.

Scott, P. A Coloured Key of the Wildfowl of the World. Slimbridge, England. The Wildfowl Trust. 1988.

Todd, F.S. Natural History of Waterfowl. San Diego, Ca. Ibis Publishing Co., 1996.

BirdLife International. 2016. Sibirionetta formosa. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22680317A92855272. Downloaded on 31 October 2018.

Photo Credit: Baikal Teal x N. Pintail (cropped).jpg. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Image by: Takashi Koike. Year Created: 27 February 1999. Website: License: CC by 3.0.