Baikal Teal – Accepted

1. 29 Dec 1946

HY male

vic. Niland IMP



ph., MVZ 97120

2. 12 Jan 1974


Riverside RIV



ph., SBCM 5258

3. 27 Nov 1974


Honey Lake LAS



ph., HSU 3315

4. 04 Jan 1975


Gray Lodge Wildlife Area BUT



ph., HSU 3490

5. 14 Oct 1987





ph., privately held specimen


Baikal Teal – Not accepted, natural occurrence questionable (identification established)

13 Dec 1931

AHY male

Brentwood CC



MVZ 61006




Baikal Teal

BAIKAL TEAL Anas formosa Georgi, 1775

Accepted: 5 (83%)

Treated in Appendix H: yes

Not accepted: 1

CBRC review: all records

Not submitted/reviewed: 0

Color image: none

This highly migratory duck breeds in Siberia and winters in eastern Asia, primarily in Korea. After earlier declines, its population has rebounded in recent years (Delaney and Scott 2002). The species is a casual visitor to western and northern Alaska, and south along the Pacific coast to southern California. In addition to California’s records, at least six males have been documented south of Alaska: Ladner, British Columbia, 20 November 1957 (Campbell et al. 1990a, correcting the erroneous date of 20 December 1957 given by Hatter 1960); Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, 1 May 1996; Dungeness, Washington, January 1920 (Brown 1925); near Seattle, Washington, 12 December–19 April 2005 (NAB 59:314, 372, 485); shot near Corvallis, Oregon, 12 January 1974; and shot at Sauvie Island, Oregon, 17 December 2005 (NAB 60:276). Records from elsewhere in the United States (e.g., Colorado, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina), as well as some from Europe, involve birds of questionable natural occurrence (Lewington et al. 1991, AOU 1998).

California’s first Baikal Teal, a first-winter male collected on 29 December 1946 near Niland in Imperial County (Laughlin 1947), provided only the second record of an apparently wild vagrant of this species in the coterminous United States. Hunters shot four more males in the state during the 1970s and 1980s on dates ranging from 14 October to 12 January. See also Appendix H.

The Committee evaluates records of this species with difficulty, as males are popular in captivity and females are also kept. Swarth (1932) noted the importation of 527 Baikal Teal to San Francisco from 1928 to 1932, information that led the CBRC to question the natural occurrence of a 1931 specimen from Brentwood, Contra Costa County (Moffitt 1932). Roberson (1993) provided more recent information about captive status. Through the mid 1990s, a few birds were held at the San Diego Wild Animal Park (fide M. A. Patten) and at the San Diego Zoo (fide G. McCaskie). A 10 March 2005 query of the International Species Information System yielded listings of captive 71 Baikal Teal at zoos and other participating institutions in North America, including two in San Diego County, five in Arizona, and three in Washington.

Males are distinctive, but certain hybrid ducks can cause confusion (Sibley 1994). Given an understanding of plumage variation, the identification of females is possible (see Jackson 1992).