BAIKAL TEAL Sibirionetta formosa

At one time abundant, but now declining due to hunting pressures in winter, the breeding areas in eastern Siberia are local and isolated, but mainly in areas of river deltas. They only just reach the northern shores of Lake Baikal. At one time thought to be critically endangered, it turns out that huge wintering flocks had merely changed location. For the same reason the species has finally been admitted to the British list, although some birds are undoubtedly escapes due to its popularity in collections, wary, unringed birds associate with Wigeon coming from the east in winter. The right-hand shot is such a bird, others are taken in captivity. Note the white loral spot of the female, which is diagnostic.

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