River Valley Aviary
The current global distribution of the marbled teal is fragmented, with major centers of distribution in the western Mediterranean and tropical Africa (Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Senegal, Mali, Nigeria and Chad), the eastern Mediterranean (Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Syria) and western and southern Asia (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russian Federation, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, China). The first and last of these regional populations are found partly within the western Palearctic, while the second lies wholly within it. The movements that occur within and between these regional populations are very poorly understood and open to speculation.
From a distance, these small ducks appear to be just plain brown, but when observed closely, you will notice the buff spots or “marbles” for which this species is named for. The sexes are similar, with hens having a yellowish patch at the base of the bill. Males seem to have a larger head than hens, due to a crest that is used when courting hens. Both sexes lack the metallic wing speculum seen in other teals.