Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris
Marbled Teal (Captive) August 2000 - click for larger image WWT Barnes, London, England (Captive bird) and Oued Massa, Morocco

The Marbled Teal is classified as VULNERABLE by Birdlife International. Estimates of between 9,000 and 19,000 birds made in 2002 have been increased considerably to about 50,000 to 55,000 with the resurgence of a large population in southern Iraq after the partial restoration of the marshes in that area post-Saddam. This may have been a result of a concentration of previously little known populations and/or improved observation.

Marbled Teal, Oued Massa, Morroco, May 2014 - click for larger image It lives in wetlands, preferably brackish, with vegetation such as reeds growing. It is estimated that 50% of suitable habitat across its range was destroyed during the 20th century. This includes drainage for agriculture and water management such as dams in countries such as Iraq, Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco and Spain.
Marbled Teal, Oued Massa, Morroco, May 2014 - click for larger image It is a dabbling duck and is partly migratory. It is resident in parts of the Middle East while there is a concentration of wintering birds in Pakistan which breed around the Caspian and Aral Seas. The small Spanish population mostly migrates to North Africa during the winter although they are present in Coto Doñana all year.

It is generally silent but when it does call it makes a remarkably un-duck like noise.

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