Blue-winged Teal

Anas discors

Order

ANSERIFORMES

Family

Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4

BWTE

Code 6

ANADIS

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

ask community
Copyright © 2004 - 2017 Mitch Waite Group

PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Blue-winged Teal has a large breeding range of around 5,440,000 square kilometers. It breeds in marshes and other wetlands in much of Canada (except for tundra habitats), parts of Alaska, and much of the northern and western United States. It winters in a variety of wetland habitats in California and the southern United States south through Mexico and the Caribbean to northern South America. It also occurs as a vagrant to Europe. The global population of the Blue-winged Teal is estimated at 6,100,000 individuals, and is large and stable enough to warrant a conservation rating of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Blue-winged Teal: This small dabbling duck has a purple-gray head and a distinct white crescent on the face. The upperparts are scaled buff and dark brown; underparts are pale brown with many dark spots. The wings have a green speculum and a pale blue shoulder patch visible in flight. Flight is fast and direct with steady wing beats. It mainly feeds on plants. The sexes look similar.

 

Range and Habitat

Blue-winged Teal: Breeds in northern prairies and parklands of central North America and spends winters from Central America and the Caribbean south to Peru and northeastern Brazil. Preferred nesting habitats include wetland areas within grasslands, such as marshes, ponds, and lakes. Winter habitats are mostly swamps and shallow wetlands.

whatbird search for your browser

Blue-winged Teal SONGS AND CALLS

Blue-winged Teal A1

High-pitched whistled "tsee" calls from two males, lower call from a female.

Blue-winged Teal C1

Calls from a large flock feeding in shallow water.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"Tsee tsee"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Blue-winged Teals have the highest annual mortality rate (reaching 65%) of all the dabbling ducks; possibly as a result of hunting and long over-ocean migration.
  • Their yellow legs are a distinction from other small ducks like Common Teal and Garganey. DNA analysis of this species has revealed its genetic make up to be almost identical to that of the Cinnamon teal.
  • A group of teal has many collective nouns, including a "coil", "dopping", "knob", "paddling", and "spring" of teal.
  • They are more vocal than most ducks,their high-pitched peeping and nasal quacking is commonly heard in spring and to a lesser extent in fall.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

RANGE MAP HAWAII

About this Hawaii Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Hawaiian island.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

.
UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
ShoulderX
The short feathers overlying the median secondary coverts on the top of the wing. They are located near the back and can be seen as the “first row” of feathers on the birds wing. They are also called marginal coverts and lesser secondary coverts.
SpeculumX
The brightly colored area on the wing (secondaries of the wing) on several duck species.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X