The Baikal teal (Anas formosa) is a species of teal that breeds in eastern Russia and Siberia. As their scientific name suggests, Baikal teal are indeed one of the most beautiful teal species. The males have a harlequin-like patterns on their head of green, yellow, white and dark brown. Another prominent feature of the males are their long scapular feathers. The females are similar to green-winged teal females, though Baikal teal females have a distinct white dot at the base of their bill. Ducklings and juvenile birds also exhibit this dot at the base of the bill. This species does have an eclipse plumage, but their beauty during the breeding months certainly makes them a desirable species. Consequently, this is a relatively established species in captivity.
Baikal teal are okay in a mixed species collection, but they do prefer to have lots of vegetation and spots to get away for them to feel safe enough to breed. They use porch-style nest boxes in dense cover. Their greenish eggs hatch after an incubation period of 25 days. The ducklings fare well when artificially reared in a wet brooder. The Mazuri Waterfowl Starter should be located right near the water’s edge, and to stimulate feeding, crumbled hard-boiled egg can be added on top of the feed. The ducklings should be monitored for bullying. Overall, the biggest challenge with this species is ensuring that they have plenty of space to feel comfortable enough to breed.
Please contact me if you are interested in acquiring this species and want to be placed on a waiting list.