Green Winged Teal Duck
The Green Winged Teal Duck is a common and widespread duck that breeds in the northern areas of North America except on the Aleutian Islands. It is a common duck of sheltered wetlands, such as taiga bogs, and usually feeds by dabbling for plant food or grazing. It nests on the ground, near water and under cover. While its conservation status is not evaluated by IUCN at present due to non-recognition of the taxon, it is plentiful enough to make it a species of Least Concern if it were; it is far more plentiful than the common teal.
Male – The male green winged teal duck has a chestnut head and neck, a wide metallic dark green stripe running from the front of the eye to the neck which is slightly bordered with white, the white border extends to the base of the beak, a grey back and flanks, a creamy black spotted breast and whitish under-parts, a metallic green speculum bordered by white, dark-grey beak, and legs and feet are grey. The Green-winged Teal is very similar to the Common (Eurasian) Teal but differs by having a vertical white stripe on the side of the breast, and a much less defined white border around the green stripe on the face.
Female – The female green winged teal duck has a sandy brown plumage streaked with dark brown.
Eclipse – The male in eclipse plumage is similar to the female but is more uniform in color and with a dark head and vestigial facial markings.
Size: – Typical Adult is 12-15 inches.
Food: – Aquatic vegetation, seeds, roots, pond weeds, corn, wheat, barley, and occasionally Insects, larvae, crustaceans, and molluscs.
Habitat: – Wetlands, arctic tundra, marshes, freshwater lakes, and shallow ponds throughout Canada and northern USA. Wintering further south in USA and Central America.
Breeding Season: – Late April to July.
Eggs: – 6 to 12 (creamy color).
Notes: – The green winged teal duck is a common and widespread North American dabbling duck. It was thought to be the same species as the Common (Eurasian) Teal but this is still being reviewed by the American Ornithologists Union. This is the smallest dabbling duck native to 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.