EURASIAN TEAL (Anas crecca) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Eurasian or Common Teal is a small dabbling duck. The drake has a large ‘teal’ stripe on each side of the head which is reddish brown. The upper parts and flanks are grey and white in a vermiculated pattern. The upper wing has a black and white band beside bright green secondaries. The tail is black with a white patch on each side of the rump. The bill is black and the legs are grey. Females are mottled brown with a darker crown and back, and a dark brown eye stripe. Non-breeding males are similar to the female. This duck is about 14 inches (35 cm) long.
NAME: The English name ‘Teal’ is from Dutch and means a ‘teal’. This bird gave its name to the blue-green color ‘teal’. The Latin genus name ‘Anas’ means ‘duck’, and the Latin species name ‘crecca’ is from Swedish ‘Kricka’, which means ‘teal’.
HABITAT: Sheltered wetlands, including artificial river beds (see photos below).
DIET: Plant material such as seeds, also insects and invertebrates.
NESTING: The nest is a scrape on the ground near water. Around ten eggs are laid, incubated by the female. She cares for the ducklings.
DISTRIBUTION: The Eurasian teal breeding range covers eastern Europe and Asia. and is a year-round resident in the remainder of Europe (except Spain). It migrates in southern Europe, northern Africa, southeast Asia including Japan and South Korea.
CONSERVATION: Widespread and not considered at risk. However there are threats such as over-hunting, poisoning of its food sources,  habitat loss due to degradation.
NOTES: This duck is highly gregarious outside the breeding season and will gather in large flocks.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Green-winged Teal – The green-winged teal is still sometimes described as a subspecies of the Eurasian Teal (compare photos of both below).

Eurasian teal pair foraging – Onda River, Naruse, Machida, Japan – © Denise Motard
Eurasian tail pair foraging, Japan
Eurasian teal pair, Onda River, Naruse, Machida, Japan – © Denise Motard
Eurasian teal pair, Onda River, Japan
Eurasian teals foraging on Onda River, Naruse, Machida, Japan – © Denise Motard
Eurasian teals foraging, Machida, Japan
Eurasian teals, Onda River, Naruse, Machida, Japon – © Denise Motard
Eurasian teals resting and self-preening