Any of about 15 species (genus Anas, family Anatidae) of small dabbling ducks found on the major continents and many islands. Many are popular game birds. The Holarctic green-winged teal, usually found in a dense flock, is 13–15 in. (33–38 cm) long. The small blue-winged teal breeds across Canada and the northern U.S. and winters south of the U.S. The Hottentot teal of Africa frequently remains immobile among vegetation even when shots are fired nearby. Teal are primarily herbivorous, but some species eat small animals. Flocks of many species take off and change direction in unison.
Holarctic American green-winged teal drake (Anas crecca carolinensis).—Gordon Langsbury/Bruce Coleman Inc.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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