Anas crecca

Green-winged teal drake. ©DUC

North America’s smallest dabbling duck is a fast flier, capable of reaching speeds of 70 kilometres per hour.

Appearance

  • North America’s smallest dabbling duck
  • Male has spotted pinkish breast, speckled grey sides and grey back, whitish underparts, reddish brown head with green stripe that extends through eye, green wing bars bordered with buff, vertical white stripe in front of wing and a buff and black area at the base of the tail
  • Females are mottled brown overall with whitish underparts and have green wing bars bordered with buff

Breeding

  • Form pairs on the wintering grounds, during spring migration or on breeding grounds; pair late relative to other dabblers
  • Female selects nest site in dense vegetation and lays an average clutch of 10-12 eggs at a rate of 1 egg/day
  • Female incubates eggs for 20-23 days after the last egg is laid
  • Male abandons female to undergo a feather moult shortly after incubation begins

Habitat: Prefers shallow ponds with lots of emergent vegetation. Along the coast, it prefers tidal creeks, mudflats and marshes to more open water.

Range: Breeds throughout Canada, Alaska, northern U.S., Great Plains and the Great Lakes area. Winters along Pacific coast from Alaska south, in most of U.S., Mexico and Caribbean.

Diet: Varied diet including insects and aquatic vegetation that changes with availability of food

Interesting Facts

  • Unlike most other dabblers, prefers the boreal forest and parklands to the prairie pothole region

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