French name: Sarcelle d’été
Size : 37-41 cm.
At rest : Small dabbling duck. Sexually dimorphic. Seasonally variable. Breeding male unmistakable, with broad white band along sides of head, extending from eye to nape; remainder of head, neck and breast dark reddish-brown, contrasting with pale grey flanks and elongated black-and-white-striped scapulars. Birds in female-like plumage more difficult, closely recalling other teal-sized ducks.
In flight : Appears rather bulkier and longer-necked than Common Teal. Underwing similar to that of both Common and Baikal Teal, but with whitish central underwing contrasting with dusky leading edge a little more than on either.
Shallow freshwater lakes and marshes with extensive fringe vegetation in open country. On passage moves over sea, and may be found roosting on inshore waters in flocks. During the northern winter, often found in very large concentrations; its preferred habitats in Africa are shallow freshwater wetlands, including marshes, flooded grasslands and ricefields.
Pair-formation occurs chiefly in winter quarters. Arrives on breeding grounds across Europe and Asia from late March onwards, breeding from late April to June. Nests hidden among dense grassy vegetation close to water.
Abundant, highly migratory small duck. Widespread breeding visitor during northern summer across most of Europe and central Palaearctic Asia, east to Pacific coast as far as Kamchatka. Core of distribution over central and eastern Europe and central Asia.
Abundant wintering duck in West, Central and eastern Africa, thinning out south to Zambia, and a vagrant south to Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Two populations occur in Africa: the West Africa non-breeding population (which breeds in Europe and West Siberia) estimated at 2 million and in decline; and the Southwest Asia and Northeast Africa non-breeding population (breeds in West Siberia) estimated at 100,000-200,000.
January 12th, 2010
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