Blue Winged Teal Duck
The range of the Blue Winged Teal Duck is all of North America except western and northern Alaska, northern Yukon Territory, northern Northwest Territories and the northeastern area of Canada. Blue-winged teal are rare in the desert southwest, and the west coast. The breeding habitat of the blue-winged teal is marshes and ponds. Blue-winged teal inhabit shoreline more often than open water and prefer calm water or sluggish currents to fast water. They inhabit inland marshes, lakes, ponds, pools, and shallow streams with dense emergent vegetation.
Male – The male Blue Winged Teal Duck has a grey-blue head with a large white facial crescent in front of the eye, black beak, the breast, abdomen, and flanks are reddish with fine black markings, a black tail, light blue upper-wing coverts, green speculum, whitish under-wing, and yellow legs and feet.
Female – The female Blue Winged Teal Duck is mottled brown with a whitish area around the beak, a dark crown, and a dark stripe through the eye.
Eclipse – The male Blue Winged Teal Duck in eclipse plumage is very similar to the female but has a darker head and may have a faint outline of a facial crescent. The eclipse male also retains its wing pattern.
Size: – Typical Adult is 14-16 inches.
Food: – Aquatic plants, pond weeds, seeds, aquatic insects, molluscs, and invertebrates.
Habitat: – Wetlands, marshes, lakes, rivers, ponds, and coastal areas throughout North America. Winters further south in Central and South America.
Breeding Season: – Begins April to May.
Eggs: – 10 to 12 (dull-white or olive color).
Notes: – The Blue-winged Teal is a small dabbling duck and is very common throughout North America.
The different types of wild ducks can be grouped into puddle, aka “dabbling” and diving ducks. The dabblers mostly feed in smaller bodies of shallow water or along shorelines, where they are able to tip their bodies forward to reach their food on the bottom. There are divers who feed in deeper water where they dive and pursue their quarry. Some of these birds, the Harlequin Duck for example, actually dives to the bottom of fast-flowing waters and feeds on life forms attached to rocks.