teal



teal defined in 1930 year

teal - Teal;
teal - Bill blackish; crown, cheeks, neck, and throat chestnut; round and behind the eye an elongated patch of glossy green margined with buff; upper parts and flanks delicately marked with black and white; speculum black, green, and purple, tipped with yellowish white; rump and tail-coverts black; tail-feathers brown; front of neck spotted with black on a buff ground; breast and belly white; legs and feet brownish grey. Length, fourteen inches and a half. Female: mottled brown; little or no purple on the speculum. The female dress is assumed by the drake in July, and is kept until October.

The handsome and natty little teal is the smallest of our ducka, its weight being only one third that of the mallard. In appearance it is a small wigeon, but whereas the wigeon is the wildest of our wild ducks in disposition, the teal is the tamest. It is chiefly a winter visitor to this country, and from September until spring is found throughout the British Islands. A considerable number of pairs remain to breed in suitable localities throughout England, and more numerously in Scotland and Ireland. The nest is placed on the ground on the borders of a marsh or bog, and sometimes at a distance from water, among heather or herbage; it is made of dry grass and leaves, and, later on, down from the bird is added. The eggs are creamy-white or pale buff in colour, with a tinge of green, and eight or ten in number, sometimes as many as fifteen. The teal feeds chiefly by night, on aquatic plants, insects, slugs, and small crustaceans. Its call-note is a short, sharp quack, and in the pairing- time the drake emits a low, jarring note. The drake does not moult so early as most ducks, and remains longer with the female during the breeding season, leaving her only when the young are partly grown.

Two American species of teal - the blue-winged teal (Querquedula discors) and the green-winged teal (Q. carolinensis) - have been obtained in Great Britain, one specimen of each.

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