Anas discors

Blue-winged teal pair. ©DUC

Blue-winged teal, like other teal are the half-pints of the duck world.

Appearance

  • About half the size of a mallard, the blue-winged teal are easily recognized by their grey-blue shoulder patch and by the male’s white head-crescent and flank patch.
  • The female is drab and mottled brown and her wing patch is subdued with an almost black-green speculum and no white border.
  • Male’s bill is blue-black and the female’s is dusky with black spots.

Breeding

  • Blue-wing teal breed from Alaska to Nova Scotia.
  • They establish pairs on wintering grounds and during spring migration.
  • Hens lay an average of 10 eggs and add down feathers to aid in incubation, which lasts 24 days.
  • Ducklings fledge between 35 and 44 days.

Habitat: Grasslands bordering small potholes and other freshwater wetlands.

Range: Coast-to-coast though most breed in prairie and parkland. Winters as far south as Peru.

Diet: Diet changes dramatically with the seasons. It’s mainly plant matter, but mainly invertebrates for females during breeding.

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