Murie, Olaus J. (1959) FAUNA OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS AND ALASKA PENINSULA, 1936-38, U.S. Dept. Interior, Fish & Wildlife Service, Washington. pg. 79-
Common Teal: Anas crecca
Anas crecca nim'ia
Aleut names: Attu: Cheerrh-ooli (obviously the Russian name)
Atka: Krech-cheer-tha (derivation from Russian is at least suggested by the middle syllable)
Ataxciyax (Jochelson — probably the true Aleut name)
Russian, Commander Islands: Tschirok (Stejneger)
It is now well established that the breeding species of teal throughout the Aleutian chain is Anas crecca. During our expeditions, with only one exception, when a close view of males was possible, or when specimens were collected,- the bird proved to be the common teal. Beals and Longworth collected a male at Unimak Island, June 11, 1941. This is the easternmost point for which we have a record of this bird. Swarth (1934) records 3 specimens, 2 males and 1 female, taken on Akutan Island, May 24, 1927. We found these teals common throughout the Aleutian chain, and they are to be found on most of the islands where suitable habitat is available. Bent lists a specimen collected by Lucien M. Turner on Atka Island, June 28, 1879, and one taken by J. Hobart Egbert on Kiska Island, July 14, 1904. He also states that in 1911 his party collected "quite a series" of specimens in the western and central islands, and every male proved to be this form. Laing (1925) records two males taken at Adak Island, April 13, 1924. On our own expeditions, several specimens were taken, including males on Kagalaska, July 4, 1936, and on Amchitka, July 24, 1936.
Gabrielson noted a pair of common teals on Amukta Island, June 25, 1940 ; he saw about a dozen on Amchitka, June 28, and saw others at Tanaga, Ogliuga, Atka, Ulak, Kavalga, Segula, and Adak.
These teals are the most abundant fresh-water ducks in the Aleutians. Broods of young were seen on the small islands, Ogliuga and Skagul, and two broods were seen on Kanaga. On July 7, 1937, we found a nest of seven fresh eggs on Amchitka. On July 3, 1936, a female with two downy young were seen in a shallow grassy pond on Adak Island. The natives said that teals nest on Attu, and a male was seen on Agattu, June 15, 1937. On August 23, 1937, I counted at least 42 teals on a lake near Nikolski Village, Umnak Island, and Steenis, on the same day, saw a greater number. Pairs were seen on various other islands, and it is certain that they nest throughout the length of the Aleutian chain.
Stejneger (1887) reported the European (common) teal as an abundant visitor on Bering Island, but less common on Copper Island. The species also occurs in the Pribilof Islands.
Apparently, while nesting, the teals are less susceptible to the predations of the blue fox than are most other waterfowl, though the chief of Atka Village declared that they were much more numerous in early days. They generally occupy shallow, weedy ponds, though they also spend much time on the beaches — some- times on boulder beaches. They feed extensively along the beach margin and are often found on salt water. This was noted particularly on Ogliuga Island. The nest found on Amchitka Island, July 7, 1937, was situated in the dense stand of Elymus bordering the ocean beach, and the female repeatedly was observed feeding on this open beach.
Cottam and Knappen (1939) have reported on the contents of five stomachs of this species, and say that "three out of four birds taken in coastal Alaska had fed almost exclusively on soft-bodied crustaceans." The authors felt that the high percentage of animal matter (80.2 percent) was probably not typical and would not be maintained in a larger series of stomachs. However, our observations on the feeding habits of these teals in the Aleutians are in accord with these findings from the stomach analyses.
Evidently, the common teal winters in the Aleutians. We were assured of this by the natives of Attu and Kanaga, and residents of Unimak also stated that teals winter there. Furthermore, Donald Stevenson, who spent several winters in the Aleutians, furnished positive evidence of it, for in his field reports he said, in part (referring to Unalaska Island): They were again noted here Nov. 2, 1920, and at intervals in the month of November until November 21. Then again here January 7, 1921, to January 31, 1921. Being often observed feeding in small pools of salt water along the beach after the cold weather had set in and had frozen the fresh water streams.... Existed in great numbers at Umnak Island, near Otter Point November 22, 1920, in small fresh water pond, and in large fresh water stream..... Observed about five hundred here Dec. 13, also noted here Dec. 18, 1920. Specimens taken were in a fine fat condition.
In 1943, Cahn noted 1 common teal at Unalaska Island on October 14, and 2 on December 2. Taber noted a flock of 47 at Clam Lagoon, Adak Island, from November 1945 to late January 1946. Sutton and Wilson saw a male at Attu, March 5, 1945.