Cinnamon Teal

Spatula cyanoptera




Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White or pink buff.

Number of Eggs:

9 - 12

Incubation Days:

21 - 25

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On ground.

Nest Material:

Grass lined with down.





Cinnamon Teal: Small dabbling duck with scaled, dark brown upperparts and cinnamon-brown underparts, head and neck. General color of male varies from rufous-cinnamon to deep chestnut-red. Eyes are red; bill is relatively long and dark. White line divides green speculum and pale blue shoulder patch on wing. Females and juveniles are brown-scaled overall with dull blue shoulder patches, dark eyes, and pale edges around upper mandibles. Eclipse male resembles female but has faint cinnamon-brown wash over most of body, red eyes and dark bill.

Range and Habitat

Cinnamon Teal: Breeds in southwestern Canada and the United States near the Great Salt Lake, Malheur Basin, San Luis Valley and Cariboo-Chilcotin parklands. Winters in Mexico and Central America. They prefer small, shallow alkaline wetlands surrounded by low herbaceous cover, marshes and shallow ponds.

Breeding and Nesting

Cinnamon Teal: Mating pair bonds are renewed each season. Nine to twelve white or pink buff eggs are laid in a shallow cup of grass lined with down. The nest is built by the female and is usually hidden in tall vegetation 100 feet or more from water. Incubation ranges from 21 to 25 days and is carried out by the female. The young fly in about 49 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Cinnamon Teal: These birds are omnivores. Their diet consists of seeds, aquatic vegetation, plants, semi-terrestrial insects, snails and zooplankton. In shallowly flooded zones along wetland margins, they forage by skimming the water with their bill or dabbling below the surface. In deeper water they feed at the surface or in emergent or submergent vegetation.


Cinnamon Teal: Gives a thin whistled "peep" or "peer."

Similar Species

Cinnamon Teal: Ruddy Duck has a blue bill, large white cheek patch, and a dark cap.


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

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
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.
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