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Aves > Anseriformes > Anatidae > Sibirionetta

Sibirionetta formosa (Georgi, 1775) – Baikal Teal

Taxonomic Notes:

Alternative Names: Formosa Teal, Formosan Teal, Spectacled Teal, Clucking Teal, Bimaculate Duck

Old Taxonomy:
Anas formosa Georgi, 1775

Breeding season:
 April and May, extralimital.

Nest: Nests on ground, hidden among vegetation including willow bushes.

Eggs: 4–10 pale greyish-green eggs, size 45–52·5 mm × 32–38mm.

Indian and global distribution:
records (based on images):
Size: 39–43 cm; wingspan 65–75 cm

Distinguishing Characters: 

Male (breeding): Crown, nape, hindneck, and throat black. A narrow crescentic vertical black band from eye down across the face to the black throat. Face, sides of upper foreneck and below throat parts are buff. Wings entirely dark grey and quite narrow bill. A broad crescentic metallic green band from behind eye down sides of head. Speculum black and bronze-green. 

Male (eclipse): Similar to female with more rufous colour, grey to yellowish legs.

Female: Overall brown above, dark crown, light coloured face speckled with brown, presence of round whitish mark behind bill, encircled by dark border.

Similar Species in India: Breeding male is quite distinctive and cannot be confused with any other species. Females and males in eclipse can be confused with several other duck species, but can be differentiated by having a distinct round white/pale loral patch (beind/at the base of the beak) and black eye-stripe.

Sexual, seasonal & individual variation:

Species is sexually dimorphic. Male in breeding has unique and striking head pattern, whereas females and male in eclipse are drab brown coloured (See Distinguishing Characters above). There is no discernible individual variation that may exist for this species.

Status, Habitat and Habits:
It breeds in E Siberia from Yenisey Valley E to Kamchatka and Sea of Okhotsk coast. Winters mainly in Japan, South Korea and mainland China; rare winter visitor to Taiwan and Hong Kong. In India, it is very rare and occurs only as a sporadic winter visitor in Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal, Assam, and Manipur.

It prefers rivers, small lakes, pools and marshes in well-wooded country or in Arctic tundra. Winters in freshwater or brackish wetlands, flood plains and meadows. Mainly in lowlands, but recorded to at least 2650 m in winter. 

Foraging Behaviour: Very little is known about its foraging habits. It is largely a herbivore and feeds on seeds, tender shoots, leaves of aquatic plants and cultivated crops.

Males continually produce deep, chuckling “wot-wot-wot” and “ruk-ruk” in display; Female low “quack” or “kweck”

Migration Status: Migratory. It winters mainly between November and February to Indian sub-continent. 

IUCN Status: Least Concern


1. Rasmussen, P. C., and J. C. Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Washington, DC.

2. Ali, S., and S. D. Ripley. 1968. Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan: Together with those of Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and Ceylon (Vol. 1). Oxford University Press.

3. Stuart Baker, E. C. 1933. The Nidification of Birds of the Indian Empire. Taylor And Francis.


4. BirdLife International. 2016. Sibirionetta formosaThe IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22680317A92855272.

Aves > Anseriformes > Anatidae > Sibirionetta

Cite this page along with its URL as:
Satose, V., and A. Bayani. 2023. Sibirionetta formosa (Georgi, 1775) – Baikal Teal. Satose, V., A. Bayani, V. Ramachandran, P. Roy, and K. Kunte (Chief Editors). Birds of India, v. 2.17. Indian Foundation for Butterflies.
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