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Blue-winged Teal Anas discors


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Blue-winged Teal, male
credit: Alan D. Wilson/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Anatidae, Ducks and Geese view all from this family

Description ADULT MALE Has bluish head with diagnostic white crescent. Body is buffy brownish, marbled with dark spots; white patch contrasts with otherwise black vent. ADULT FEMALE Marbled brown with pale spot at base of bill, dark eyestripe, and white "eyelids." JUVENILE Similar to adult female, but lacks strong facial markings.

Dimensions Length: 14-16" (36-41 cm)

Habitat Common breeding species, particularly in prairie pothole region. Nests beside shallow pools. Most birds migrate to South America for winter; small numbers linger in the south of the region.

Range Florida, Northwest, Plains, Southeast, Rocky Mountains, New England, Mid-Atlantic, Eastern Canada, Southwest, Western Canada, California, Great Lakes, Texas, Alaska

Discussion Small, distinctive duck. Feeds by dabbling in well-vegetated shallows. Male is unmistakable; female is similar to female Cinnamon Teal, which has larger bill, gently sloping forehead and uniformly brown head. Female Green-winged has smaller bill and different wing markings. In flight, all birds reveal blue panel on leading edge of upper inner wing, separated from speculum (green in male) by white wedge.