In areas south of the Arctic Circle, laying begins at the end of May, whereas further north the birds wait until June. Between four and ten eggs are laid, which take 24 to 25 days to hatch. Males and non-breeding females moult shortly after the eggs hatch, but females, who continue to care for the ducklings, begin their moult later, towards the end of July. The ducklings learn to fly by August, and become independent of the adults (7). In autumn and winter, the species forms large flocks which wheel about in spectacular patterns reminiscent of those formed by the common starling, Sturnus vulgaris (8).
The Baikal teal feeds mainly on seeds and grain, as well as water snails, algae and other water plants (2).