Marble teal (lat. Marmaronetta angustirostris) - goose-like bird from the family of ducks. It got its name due to the specific color, which is very similar to marble in its structure.
The marbled teal itself has average dimensions for a duck: the body length varies between 40-45 centimeters, and the weight is mostly about 500-700 grams. Of the main external features, one can name a small head, which has a rounded shape, a rather dense body structure and a muscular frame, as well as paws with pronounced membranes. The color of the female from the male will be difficult to distinguish even for a scientist, but there are still small differences. Basically, they consist in a marble pattern, which, depending on the gender, can be composed in different ways.
The color of the feathers is light brown, but it has many small lightened dots that clearly stand out and form the same pattern. In addition, it is thanks to him that this species got its name. The eyes of the teal are black, and the area around them is darkened against the background of the rest of the color of the head. The color is mostly yellowish brown, but may be more red or orange.
Lifestyle and behavior
The marbled teal leads a rather active lifestyle, but at the same time, representatives of this species are considered calm. They can dive without problems and are also excellent swimmers. But at the same time, they do not lead a purely aquatic lifestyle, since these birds spend a long time on hills or trees in order to inspect their environment for food or predators.
Where do they live
The habitat is extensive and covers almost all temperate continents. Individuals that belong to this species are found from Central Asia to Spain. in Eurasia marble teal can be found near the Volga and not far from the Caspian.
However, at the moment this species is considered extinct from Eurasia, since it was last seen back in 1984. Their wintering takes place in Africa, Pakistan or Iran. As a place for the construction of a nest, they choose the coast of salty lakes, next to which there are thickets of reed or branched trees.
What they eat
Feeding usually passes near water, in shallow water or shores with silt, near which there are usually many different invertebrates that the duck eats. In addition, in the diet of a marble chirus, various seeds and other parts of the vegetation can often be found.
The nests are usually built on trees or in hollows, but already built, from which other birds have long since flew.
The female, in turn, prefers to build a nest in the grass near the water so that she has the opportunity to hide her offspring from predators. The number of eggs in the masonry can reach fifteen, and their color is mainly white or brownish. It takes about a month to incubate one clutch, and after that the chicks finally come into the world and follow their mother. On the back of babies, as in adults, there are white spots, and on the sides there are yellow stripes that disappear with maturity.