Omnivorous, it feeds on a great variety of aquatic invertebrates (insects, crustaceans, snails and small clams) and on aquatic vegetation.
Up to 13 years.
Monogamous. The female builds the nest at the end of April or early May. She lays from 6 to 14 eggs. Incubation lasts 21 to 40 days. Young can fly at 40 days old.
Teals are vulnerable to predation by raptors including peregrine falcon, bald eagle, great-horned owl and red-tailed hawk, in flight, on the water and in the nest. Land predators such as red fox, mink, long-tailed weasel, raccoon and skunk attack the eggs. The main birds attacking the eggs are the crow and magpie.